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Songs of Erich Korngold

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 26, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Signum
  • ASIN: B001UF42JY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Dace Gisclard on August 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If one is a newcomer to Korngold's songs, this disc is an unbeatable introduction to the most often-performed of these small-scale lyric gems. If one already knows these small flawless jewels, it is a handy way to add them to your collection. All of the important Korngold songs one should know are here. Korngold's range of idiom is wide--from the wide-intervalled near-atonality of Op.18 (reminiscent of "Das Wunder der Heliane"), to the Shakespeare songs in English, composed in a swashbuckling style resembling that of the film score for "Robin Hood," and everywhere in between. Whatever the style, Korngold's gift for strewing appealing melodies by the handful never deserts him.

Those familiar with the composer's film scores will notice some familiar melodies here. "Sonnett fur Wien." which adapts the sweeping title theme from "Escape me Never", and "Old English Song", which was recycled in "The Sea Hawk."

The singers, Sarah Connolly and William Dazeley, could not be better-suited to this repertoire. Both are big, "mature" voices in the best sense of the term--fully developed, the registers well-integrated from top to bottom, rich tone with consistent vibrato (NOT wobble--they're not at all the same thing)--no monkeying around with faddish white tone on every phrase here--this is NOT the place! These are the sort of voices the composer would have heard at the Vienna Opera.

Iain Burnside's rich piano tone is the velvet on which pearls and diamonds are offered, as he mirrors every expressive nuance from the singers--a perfect collaboration for these voluptuous products of Viennese late romanticism.

I had already heard many of these songs thanks to von Otter's and Kimbrough's recordings.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
There's little to add to the other review, except to say that, for me, these are some of the most enjoyable recordings of Korngold's songs, very well recorded. I have heard "Vier Abschiedslieder" previously performed only by a single female singer, both with piano accompaniment, as here, and in the orchestral version. It's a mark of the intelligent and enterprsing programming that it's shared here between the excellent Sarah Connolly and the worthy William Dazely, an artist whose work I have not previously heard but one I will look forward to hearing again. Iain Burnside provides fine support, and often something more, in these brilliant songs--which must be formidably difficult to play. The several songs in English gain by being sung by native English speakers, while those in German suffer not at all. This disc can be wholeheartedly recommended.
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