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This CD features Finnish star soprano Soile Isokoski and her longstanding duo partner Marita Viitasalo, with a selection of Lieder by Richard Strauss.
Included are such popular songs as Zueignung, Cäcilie, Morgen!, and Allerseelen. Along with the cycle of 3 Ophelia-Lieder and Strauss’s final complete composition, Malven, this collection spans 65 years of Strauss’ writing.
The music of Richard Strauss has been a cornerstone of the singing career of Soile Isokoski: “His music just sits so well in my voice, in terms of both its range and its lyrical quality.”
Soile Isokoskis’ earlier CD release of Strauss Orchestral Songs and Vier letzte Lieder (ODE9822) became a major commercial success and earned her a Gramophone Award.
Soile Isokoski is hailed as one of the finest singers in the world (“Isokoski's lyric soprano is like liquid gold.” – David L. Kirk, Fanfare Magazine, March/April 2009) whose recordings have been praised as top-choice and garnered the highest distinctions at the BBC Music Magazine Awards, Gramophone Awards and MIDEM Classical Awards.
Richard Strauss: 8 Gedichte aus Letzte Blatter, Op. 10, TrV 141
8 Gedichte aus Letzte Blatter, Op. 10, TrV 141: No. 8. Allerseelen
Richard Strauss: 6 Lieder aus Lotosblatter, Op. 19, TrV 152
6 Lieder aus Lotosblatter, Op. 19, TrV 152: No. 3. Schon sind, doch kalt die Himmelssterne
8 Gedichte aus Letzte Blatter, Op. 10, TrV 141
8 Gedichte aus Letzte Blatter, Op. 10, TrV 141: No. 3. Die Nacht (The Night)
Richard Strauss: 5 Lieder, Op. 32, TrV 174 (text by K.F. Henckell)
6 Lieder aus Lotosblatter, Op. 19, TrV 152, No. 6. Mein Herz ist stumm, mein Herz ist kalt
Richard Strauss: 5 Lieder, Op. 39, TrV 189 (text by R. Dehmel)
5 Lieder, Op. 39, TrV 189: No. 4. Befreit
Richard Strauss: 4 Lieder, Op. 27, TrV 170 (text by J.H. Mackay and H. Hart)
No. 4. Morgen
No. 2. Cacilie
Richard Strauss: 6 Lieder, Op. 67, TrV 238 (text by W. Shakespeare)
No. 1. Wie erkenn' ich mein Treulieb vor andern nun?
No. 2. Guten Morgen, 's ist Sankt Valentinstag
No. 3. Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloss
Richard Strauss: Malven (Mallows), TrV 297
Malven (Mallows), TrV 297
“As always with Isokoski, one either finds a certain humanity in her less-than-rounded tones - or not. Such positive qualities burn from within during songs such as 'Zueignung' and 'Morgen!'...and especially in the lesser-known 'Befreit', a performance whose subtle empathy is a summation of what has always made Isokoski such an endearing figure on the operatic landscape.”
“a feat of some of Strauss's greatest solo songs, all sung with high intelligence, in impeccable German, in beautiful sound (the piano especially sympathetic, well-rounded), with accompaniments from Marita Viitasalo impeccably groomed, seldom obtrusive let alone assertive, and perhaps all the better for that...Isokoski does not always seek to cultivate the voice beautiful...She is adept at picking up every nuance”
“Isokoski begins with disarming lightness of touch...It's easy to forget that, at its core, this is a rich, almost heroic voice, modulating its way with seeming effortlessness through the bigger numbers at the heart of the recital...Isokoski's technique has stood the test of time...Viitasalo is clearly supportive...but more of an accompanist than an equal partner.”
24th June 2012
“The intense, silvered beauty of her tone — less peachy and voluptuous than Fleming’s — and the unmannered clarity of her diction are unique in this music today...The strange Ophelia set, rarely programmed, can never have been more sumptuously sung.”