Elisabeth Söderström

Soprano

Elisabeth Söderström

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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123


Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Marga Hoffgen (alto), Waldemar Kmentt (tenor), Martti Talvela (bass)

New Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

Few musical works express man’s metaphysical aspirations more powerfully than Beethoven’s titanic Missa Solemnis. As Otto Klemperer wrote some years before making this recording: “It is enormously difficult to translate into reality a work which doesn’t take reality into account.” He had first conducted the Missa Solemnis in 1927 and it came to define the epic grandeur of his interpretative style.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2435675462

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Hilde Gueden - Richard Strauss Songs

Hilde Gueden - Richard Strauss Songs

Decca Most Wanted Recitals Vol. 19


Strauss, R:

Einerlei, Op. 69 No. 3

Säusle, Liebe Myrte, Op. 68 No. 3

Der Stern, Op. 69 No. 1

Schlechtes Wetter, Op. 69 No. 5

Ich wollt ein Sträusslein binden, Op. 68 No. 2

Als mir dein Lied erklang, Op. 68 No. 4

Freundliche Vision, Op. 48 No. 1

Schlagende Herzen Op. 29 No. 2

Heimkehr, Op. 15 No. 5

Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4

Die Nacht, Op. 10 No. 3

Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten, Op. 19 No. 4

Meinem Kinde, Op. 37 No. 3

Er ist der Richtige nicht für mich … Aber der Richtige, wenn's einen gibt für mich (from Arabella)

Hilde Gueden (Zdenka), Lisa della Casa (Arabella)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Rudolf Moralt

Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Elisabeth Söderström (Octavian), Hilde Gueden (Sophie)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Silvio Varviso

Mein Gott! Es was nicht mehr als eine Farce (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Régine Crespin (Marschallin), Hilde Gueden (Sophie), Elisabeth Söderström, (Octavian), Heinz Holecek (Faninal)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Silvio Varviso


Hilde Gueden (soprano), Friedrich Gulda (piano)

“Gueden's light, characterful voice shines in near-ideal interpretations, with pianist Friedrich Gulda her top-class pianist.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2014 *****

Decca Most Wanted Recitals - 4808156

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Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier (highlights)

Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier (highlights)


Régine Crespin (Marschallin), Elisabeth Söderström (Octavian), Heinz Holecek (Faninal), Hilde Gueden (Sophie)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Silvio Varviso

It is a pity that one of the most acclaimed recordings of Rosenkavalier was only recorded as excerpts, but at over an hour, and including some of the absolute plums of scenes from the opera, it is rightly regarded as a gem among great recordings of Strauss’s music. Included are the Marchallin’s Act I monologue, the Presentation of the Rose, and naturally, the trio and final duet.

“impassioned and youthful sounding [Söderström] … sensuous charm exerted by singers … superlative recording … I was nearly consumed by the burning flames of eroticism that Silvio Varviso kindles in the first half of the prelude! ... This is, I am sure, the best recording and performance of the music selected we have had so far” Gramophone Magazine

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Richard Strauss Heroines

Richard Strauss Heroines


Strauss, R:

Er ist der Richtige nicht für mich … Aber der Richtige, wenn's einen gibt für mich (from Arabella)

Lisa della Casa (Arabella) & Hilde Gueden (Zdenka)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker

Es gibt ein Reich (from Ariadne auf Naxos)

Leontyne Price (Ariadne), Barry McDaniel (Harlekin ) & Edita Gruberova (Zerbinetta)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

Mein Gott! Es was nicht mehr als eine Farce (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Régine Crespin (Marschallin), Hilde Gueden (Sophie), Elisabeth Söderström (Octavian) & Heinz Holeček (Faninal)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Silvio Varviso

Allein. Weh' ganz allein (from Elektra)

Birgit Nilsson (Elektra)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Sir Georg Solti

Wehe, mein Mann! (from Die Frau ohne Schatten)

Leonie Rysanek (Kaiserin) & Judith Hellwig (Stimme des Falken)

Wiener Staatsopernchor & Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Böhm

Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils

Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen (from Salome)

Anja Silja (Salome)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Christoph von Dohnányi


It is often said that Richard Strauss had a lifelong love affair with the soprano voice, and it is certainly true that many of his finest operatic roles were written with that voice in mind. In addition, the quality of his writing for sopranos regularly shows their instruments off to maximum advantage. Sopranos have genuine cause to the grateful to him.

Collected here are some of Strauss’s greatest heroines – whether regal (the Marschallin in Rosenkavalier), demented (Salome and Elektra), or crafty (the Empress in Frau ohne Schatten). These highlights feature not only great solo scenes (the final scene of Salome, Elektra’s monologue) but also some sublime ensembles (Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos, the closing scene of Rosenkavalier). The singers represent some of the leading Strauss sopranos of their day – Della Casa, Guede, Crespin, Söderström, Silja and, of course, Nilsson – as well as some of the great Strauss conductors: Solti, Böhm, Dohnányi. Many of the recordings were made by the Wiener Philharmoniker in one of Decca’s iconic recording venues, the Sofiensaal, over a period of some twenty years

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Elisabeth Söderström: The Russian Songbook

Elisabeth Söderström: The Russian Songbook


Grechaninov:

The Lane – Five Children’s Songs, Op. 89

Mussorgsky:

The Nursery

Prokofiev:

The Ugly Duckling, Op. 18

Tchaikovsky:

The Cuckoo, Op. 54 No. 8

Evening, Op. 27, No. 4

The Nightingale Op. 60 No. 4

Last Night Op. 60 No. 1

None but the lonely heart, Op. 6 No. 6

Lullaby, Op. 16 No. 1

Otchevo? (Why?), Op. 6 No. 5

Strashnaya minuta (The Fearful Moment), Op. 28 No. 6

Den' li tsarit? (Does the day reign?), Op. 47 No. 6

Spring, Op 54 No. 9

Simple Words, Op. 60, No. 5

Mezza notte

Sérénade, Op. 65 No. 1

Déception, Op. 65 No. 2

Qu'importe que l'hiver, Op. 65 No. 4

Les Larmes, Op. 65 No. 5

Zakatilos solntse (The sun has set), Op. 73 No. 4

Kak nad goratcheïou zoloï, Op. 25 No. 2

Moy geni, moy angel, moy drug (My genius, my angel, my friend)

Pesn' Zemfiri (Zemfira's song)

Do not believe, my friend Op. 6 No. 1

Zabït tak skoro (So soon forgotten)

Oh! Chante Encore!, Op.16 No.4

Spirit my heart away

Why did I dream of you?, Op. 28 No. 3

To bilo ranneyu vesnoy (It happened in the early spring), Op. 38 No. 2

Sred' shumnogo bala (Amid the din of the ball), Op. 38 No. 3

If only I had known, Op.47, No.1

Was I not a blade of grass?, Op. 47 No. 7

My little garden, Op. 54 No. 4

Do not ask, Op. 57 No. 3

This, our first reunion, Op. 63 No. 4

O ditya, pod okoshkom tvoim (Serenade), Op. 63 No. 6

Rondel, Op. 65 No. 6

We sat with you, Op. 73 No. 1

Behind the window, Op 60 No. 10


Elisabeth Söderström was a born storyteller. She told stories not just in music, but also peppered her recitals on stage with tales and anecdotes. It made her a perfect interpreter for the collection of children’s songs by Mussorgsky, Prokofiev and Gretchaninov she recorded with Vladimir Ashkenazy in 1977–78 which appear on CD2 of this set, the first (LP) issue greeted with enthusiasm by Gramophone reviewer W.S.M. with the words ‘the best record of song to appear in 1979’. It later went on to win the 1979 Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award. But there was more: a selection of Tchaikovsky songs over two LPs; a substantial survey of the Rachmaninov songs (‘one of the gramophone’s crown jewels’ wrote John Steane in Gramophone) as well as the complete Sibelius songs.

Born in Stockholm on 7 May 1927 to a Russian mother and Swedish father, Söderström she was a talented recitalist, as much in demand in the concert hall as she was in the opera theatre. From 1991–96 she also directed the Drottingholm Festival Opera with much success. The two LPs of Tchaikovsky songs were issued in part by Decca on CD and this is their first complete release in this format. Overshadowed by his orchestral works, they are nonetheless absolute gems, with their piano parts of almost orchestral scope. Ashkenazy’s is, too, the disembodied voice that speaks a few of Pushkin’s lines in the early setting of Zemfira's song.

‘Söderström came to be known internationally in the late 1950s,’ wrote John Steane, ‘and over the next three decades, on until her retirement from singing in the early 1990s she never “blotted her copybook”. She neither sought nor won cheap success.’ Söderström passed away in Stockholm on 20 November 2009, aged 82, from complications from a stroke.

This release marks the launch of an Eloquence series of notable recitals of songs and opera arias by some of the great voices of Decca and Deutsche Grammophon.

“brilliant … endearing … musicianly” Gramophone Magazine (Songs for Children)

“The Maikov Lullaby is enchantingly done, especially with the gentle wash of piano tone in the background from Ashkenazy … a delightful, excellently recorded recital of some songs which we know too little … Tchaikovsky wrote some exquisite songs; and it is splendid to have them being explored so skilfully, intelligently and sensitively” Gramophone Magazine (Tchaikovsky Songs)

Australian Eloquence Vocal Recitals - ELQ4802067

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Janacek: Jenufa

Janacek: Jenufa


Elisabeth Söderström (Jenufa), Wieslav Ochman (Laca), Eva Randová (Kostelnicka), Petr Dvorsky (Steva), Lucia Popp (Karolka), Marie Mrázová (Stařenka Buryjovka), Václav Zitek (Mill Foreman), Dalibor Jedlicka (Mayor), Ivana Mixová (Mayor's Wife), Vera Soukupová (Herdswoman), Jindra Pokorná (Barena), Jana Jonásová (Jano)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Wiener Staatsopernchor, Sir Charles Mackerras

Recorded: Sofiensaal, Vienna, April 1982

“Despite stiff competition this vividly dramatic reading of the original score, the superb playing and Söderström's heart-breaking heroine confirm this is still the finest incarnation of Janácek's pastoral tragedy.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2007 *****

“Janácek's first operatic masterpiece is a towering work, blending searing intensity with heart-stopping lyricism.
It tells of Jenufa and the appalling treatment she receives as she's caught between the man she loves and another who finally comes to love her. But dominating the story is the Kostelnicka, a figure of enormous strength, pride and inner resource who rules Jenufa's life and ultimately kills her baby. Randová's characterisation of the role of the Kostelnicka is frightening in its intensity yet has a very human core. The two men are well cast and act as fine foils to Söderström's deeply impressive Jenufa. The Vienna Philharmonic plays beautifully and Mackerras directs magnificently. The recording is all one could wish for and the booklet is a mine of informed scholarship.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Summer Opera Sale

Decca - Originals - 4758227

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A Chopin Songbook

A Chopin Songbook


Chopin:

Pieóni i piosnki (17) (Seventeen Polish Songs), Op. 74

Czary (Charms), KK.IVa/11

Dumka (Reverie), KK.IVb/9


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Finlandia

Finlandia


Sibelius:

Karelia Suite, Op. 11

Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Tapiola, Op. 112

Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

En Saga, Op. 9

Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49

L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Horst Stein

Four Legends from the Kalevala

L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Horst Stein

Finlandia, Op. 26

Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Luonnotar, Op. 70 (Text: Kalevala)

Elisabeth Söderström (soprano)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Night Ride and Sunrise, Op. 55

L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Horst Stein


“Ashkenazy makes a superb job of Finlandia, which boasts some of the most vibrant, powerful brass sounds on disc.
More than 30 years separate En Saga and Tapiola, yet both works are quintessential Sibelius.
The latter is often praised for the way Sibelius avoided 'exotic' instruments, preferring instead to draw new and inhuman sounds from the more standard ones; and the former is, in many ways, just as striking in the way the orchestration evokes wind, strange lights, vast expanses and solitude. Both works suggest a dream-like journey: En Saga non-specific, though derived from Nordic legend; Tapiola more of an airborne nightmare in, above and around the mighty giants of the Northern forests inhabited by the Green Man of the Kalevala, the forest god Tapio (the final amen of slow, bright major chords brings a blessed release!). Ashkenazy's judgement of long-term pacing is very acute; the silences and shadows are as potent here as the wildest hurricane. And Decca's sound allows you to visualise both the wood and the trees; every detail of Sibelius's sound world is caught with uncanny presence, yet the overall orchestral image is coherent and natural.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Decca - Double Decca - 4525762

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Mussorgsky, Prokofiev & Gretchaninov: Songs for Children

Mussorgsky, Prokofiev & Gretchaninov: Songs for Children


Grechaninov:

The Lane – Five Children’s Songs, Op. 89

Mussorgsky:

The Nursery

Prokofiev:

The Ugly Duckling, Op. 18


Released or re-released in last 6 months

Decca - 4831365

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Pierre Boulez Edition: Mahler & Wagner

Pierre Boulez Edition: Mahler & Wagner


Mahler:

Das klagende Lied

Rückert-Lieder (5 songs, complete)

Wagner:

Wesendonck-Lieder (5)

Das Liebesmahl der Apostel, WWV 69

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Overture

Tannhäuser: Overture

Faust Overture, WWV59

Tristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod

Siegfried Idyll


Pierre Boulez, Elisabeth Soderstrom (soprano), London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Gustav Mahler (composer), Paul Myers (producer), Ernst Haefliger (tenor), Yvonne Minton (mezzo-soprano), Mike Ross-Trevor (recording engineer), Neville Boyling (recording engineer), Roy Emerson (producer), Richard Wagner (composer), Felix Mottl (orchestrator), Mathilde Wesendonk (lyricist), Richard Wagner (orchestrator), New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Joseph Flummerfelt (chorus master), Ray Moore (recording engineer), Arthur Kendy (recording engineer), Westminster Choir, Andrew Kazdin (producer), Bud Graham (recording engineer), Thomas Z. Shepard (producer)

Pierre Boulez

Sony Pierre Boulez Edition - G010001828146Z

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