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The fourth volume in “The Flagstad Recitals” comprises two LPs Kirsten Flagstad made with the London Philharmonic and Sir Adrian Boult in December 1956 (Bach and Handel: CD2) and April 1957 (Sacred Songs: CD1) at London’s Kingsway Hall. The Penguin Guide to bargain Compact Discs praised the ‘sacred pops’ CD for the ‘vivid projection’ of Flagstad’s voice and singled out the ‘great majesty and weight’ of her voice. As with the sacred songs, the Bach and Handel items have a devotional aura of their own and this anthology is also unique for the first stereo publication of Bach’s aria ‘Sheep may safely graze’ and the first-ever publication of ‘Art thou troubled’ from Handel’s Rodelinda.
Some of the songs featured on ‘Great Sacred Songs’ made their way onto a 45rpm EP which was entitled “Songs for Sunday” – from which derives the title of this compilation. Flagstad’s own religious beliefs remain unexpressed in The Flagstad Manuscript – there are no pronouncements about morality per se or about the immortality of the soul. How she lived her life speaks for itself, however, and so do the performances on this CD: songs not just for Sunday for but every day.
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