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Strauss: Four Last Songs; Closing Scene from Capriccio; Orchestral Songs CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Price: £8.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Neeme Jrvi
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (14 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00008WQB7
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
5:30
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2
30
4:16
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3
30
3:01
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4
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7:40
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5
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4:31
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6
30
4:17
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7
30
2:52
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8
30
3:34
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9
30
4:07
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10
30
3:13
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11
30
1:52
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12
30
5:09
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13
30
3:24
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14
30
16:03
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Product Description

Felicity Lott, soprano

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After many years of enjoyment of the Schwarzkopf/Szell recording of the Four Last Songs, I decided it was time to get around to exploring other recordings. I'd woken up to the fact that there were mixed opinions on the Schwarzkopf/Szell and, hey, who eats in the same restaurant their whole life? As ever, I decided to rely on the BBC Radio 3 Build a Library Recommendations.

I plumped for two recordings; this one with Felicity Lott and Renee Fleming with Münchner Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann.

The Schwarzkopf/Szell recording is wonderfully warm and rich but its technical limitations are evident when compared with this modern recording. Lott's performance is delivered with great sensitivity and care. She doesn't seem to grandstand at any point, nothing is ever forced or out of place, and much of the power of her performance lies in her very obvious meticulous attention to the intent and mood of the music. It is also a performance rendered in high definition and this makes an enormous difference; Lott's voice always emerges with clarity and purity from the well balanced orchestra.

I hadn't expected to find a recording which would displace the Schwarzkopf/Szell in my affections, but this Lott recording has probably done so. It does real justice to the sublime beauty of these Strauss masterpieces. Of the three recordings I now have, this is now the one I turn to most often. Lott's recording is not only technically accomplished but genuinely moving in its intensity.

Very highly recommended. Build a Library gets it right again.
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Having known these songs for well over 40 years, sung by all the famous Strauss sopranos, this CD comes pretty close to being my ideal version. For many, Lott is never going to topple Schwarzkopf from the summit. Once heard, the inimitable Schwarzkopf is never forgotten, especially on the Szell recording. Others will always hold Jesse Norman as their favourite though her Rolls Royce voice rides the orchestra in a less than intimate valediction; very outdoors which maybe exactly what you respond to. The Lisa Della Casa version is quite extraordinarily beautiful: very intimate, very touching, very loving. Soile Isokoski and Karita Mattila are exceptional too. There are very few really unrecommendable versions and long ago I gave up trying to choose the best. (Though I do wish Margaret Price had made a recording.)

Lott's voice is open, steady, full and silken; no cloying creaminess - she is so evidently at the music's service and very much in sympathy with it. She negotiates the notorious breathing problems seemingly effortlessly. Her diction is good though German speakers may notice things that pass me by. The orchestral songs are all lovely though Morgen is a little slow and the very operatic final number is oddly out of place in following the rest of the very intimate selection. The Capriccio music is all that you could ask for though Schwarzkopf's and Della Casa's versions can't be improved on. This music is the best of Strauss: none of the early bombast and, at times, tasteless rhetoric; all the supreme mastery of the orchestra; a wealth of gorgeous melody. The price of the disc is no way commensurate with the sheer loveliness of the music.
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Format: Audio CD
Beautiful singing and playing - Felicity Lott is wonderful in the Four Last Songs especially - great clarity and purity of tone - a true Straussian soprano. And the other leider and the lovely excerpt from Capriccio are a happy bonus - pure pleasure! I have many versions of the Four Last Songs and this bears comparison with the very best..
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I bought this after Felicity Lott appeared on Desert Island Discs a few years ago. She can't quite manage the resonance in the lower register, but otherwise a beautiful collection, very well sung, which I have subsequently bought as presents for others. Tracks 8 and 9 are particularly special. You won't be disappointed!
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