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Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs
Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.22

5.0 out of 5 stars A most appealing resonance, 28 July 2015
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This is a fine disc. Mighty fine, in fact. Isokoski has a very pleasing tone and commanding control of her instrument. The balance with the orchestra is spot on for me. The only blemish I could identify is the sound of something being dropped or clattered midway through Das Rosenband. Oh well - there's always something and, since this was clearly an accident rather than a wilful act of sabotage, it seems petty to penalise the participants.

The recording has an attractive sense of space to it; a most appealing resonance (befitting the music well) that can be curiously lacking in some modern classical recordings, which are all too often a touch dry. Not so here.

Really, this Strauss collection must be most heartily recommended.


Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Metamorphosen, Vier letzte Lieder (DG The Originals)
Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Metamorphosen, Vier letzte Lieder (DG The Originals)
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Praise be, 27 July 2015
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I like to imagine that, when one dies, it's the voice of Gundula Janowitz that one hears as one reaches the other side. Such is the beauty of her, yes, 'creamy' voice, that it's hard to retain one's composure whenever one hears it. My word, what a voice.

Herbert does his level best to match her and, of course, he has a recording venue in Berlin's Jesus-Christus-Kirche that seems to produce a sound worthy of the gods. Praise be. Only his decision not to impart a tad more of his trademark silky smooth legato into the ethereal wonders of Im Abendrot surprises me. Let us assume that he knew precisely what he was doing.

You will probably not find a more beautiful sounding rendition of the Four Last Songs than this, but I do believe that the Soile Isokoski recording is mighty fine, too.


Leon Fleisher Complete Album Collection [Box Set, Limited Edition]
Leon Fleisher Complete Album Collection [Box Set, Limited Edition]
Price: £62.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All hail, King Leon!, 2 April 2015
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Some things in life just ooze class. Certainly, Leon Fleisher is one of those classical musicians who has had a starring role as lead soloist on some truly remarkable (and now rather historic) recordings. Throughout this set, his musicianship shines through. Of course, the incisive accompaniment of Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra helps proceedings considerably, an accompaniment that seems to be in perfect sympathy with Fleisher's touch on the keyboard. The Beethoven and Brahms piano concerti contained herein are, in particular, viewed as classics, though if you favour highly romantic accounts of the Brahms, then these renditions might not be for you, as Szell and Fleisher make the D minor concerto seem almost combative. Highly recommended.


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