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The dream team: Renee Fleming and Christian Thielemann, today's foremost interpreters of Richard Strauss, in a brand new recording of the Four Last Songs, plus other arias and songs by R. Strauss.
Renee Fleming, the world's leading lyric soprano, records the exquisitely beautiful Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss in a brand new recording. Fleming recorded these songs once before, ten years ago before she had ever sung them live. Since then, these enduringly popular showcases for the soprano voice have become signature pieces for Fleming and a regular and much-loved part of her concert repertoire. With years of experience of live performances behind her, Fleming is ready now to revisit these works, bringing more insight, fresh interpretations and greater maturity.
She is conducted by Christian Thielemann, a renowned interpreter of Strauss. The disc also includes other Strauss scenes from his operas Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Agyptische Helena as well as Richard Strauss's songs Freundliche Vision, Verfuehrung, Winterweihe and Zueignung, several of which Fleming has sung live to critical acclaim.
Strauss (R): Vier Letzte Lieder, AV 150 - Fruhling
Strauss (R): Vier Letzte Lieder, AV 150 - September
Strauss (R): Vier Letzte Lieder, AV 150 - Beim Schlafengehen
Strauss (R): Vier Letzte Lieder, AV 150 - Im Abendrot
Strauss (R): Ariadne Auf Naxos, Op. 60 - Ach! Wo war ich? Tot?
Strauss (R): Ariadne Auf Naxos, Op. 60 - Ein Schones war
Strauss (R): Ariadne Auf Naxos, Op. 60 - Es gibt ein Reich
Strauss (R): Die Ägyptische Helena, Op. 75 - Zweite Brautnacht!
7th September 2008
“[Fleming's] voice is perfectly suited to [these 'magical late songs'] demands, less of range than of tender, expressive feeling…a must for more than merely Straussians”
“Renée Fleming's first recording of the Last Songs, made in 1996 (on RCA), was distinctly mixed. Here Christian Thielemann is a much more natural Straussian, powerful and luxuriant, and Fleming's voice has gained in distinctiveness and diction, to splendidly dramatic effect, often with a real 'float' at the top.”
“As Fleming explains in a note, the Four Last Songs has become the work that she has performed most often. Throughout the four songs, Fleming not only lavishes every resource of tonal richness at her command, but she seems to be urging all sorts of extra details from the text. The sound is stupendous, Fleming's voice complemented by the Munich Orchestra, with Thielemann bringing out every detail in Strauss's nostalgic orchestration.”
10th October 2008
“[Thielemann] gives her voice space to soar and swoop in its illimitable fashion, but refuses to indulge her much-discussed habit of dropping consonants half the time...this is a strikingly fretful interpretation that contemplates mortality with profound unease as well as resignation...Elsewhere, she gives a ravishing account of Verführung and the finest performance of Winterweihe I can think of.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.