“This is a performance of transcendent art” proclaimed Opera News on hearing Diana Damrau’s interpretation of Strauss’ Zerbinetta on her last Virgin Classics album, Coloraturas
. In this collection of Strauss songs, recorded in the composer’s hometown, she is joined by the Munich Philharmonic and Christian Thielemann, the leading German conductor of his generation.
Soprano Diana Damrau, described by The Sunday Times as “the most dazzling star to have emerged from Germany in recent years” was born in Bavaria. The region’s capital, Munich, was the birthplace of Richard Strauss, and in March 2009 a programme of the composer’s songs was presented at the city’s Gasteig Philharmonie, with Damrau accompanied by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under its Chief Conductor, Christian Thielemann.
“Strauss loved female voices,” says Damrau, “and he explores some extreme possibilities in these many-layered songs, each with its different point of view. Sensitivity to the words is vital to telling the story of each song, to capturing the rapid changes of mood and all the colours.”
Strauss’ operatic roles for lyric-coloratura soprano, notably Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Aithra (Die Aegyptische Helena) and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) have played an important role in Damrau’s career.
On the new CD, favourites such as "Ständchen", "Wiegenlied", "Allerseelen", "Cäcilie" and "Zueignung" feature alongside more rarely heard numbers, and six tracks recorded under studio conditions now complement the sixteen songs captured live.