“Since her full blooming on the operatic stage, Kirchschlager’s mezzo has grown enormously - and her performing character with it. She still knows how to hold a recital audience in the palm of her hand, but now there’s a newly expansive energy firing all she sings […..] Kirchschlager’s dark mezzo smouldered with sensuality,” so wrote the Times after Angelika Kirchschlager and Roger Vignoles’ February 2010 Wigmore Hall performance of the same collection of Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss songs.
Angelika Kirchschlager is regarded as one of the most distinguished mezzo-sopranos of her generation and in particular is recognised internationally for her interpretations of Richard Strauss. She gives regular solo recitals, balancing her operatic career with lieder performances. Eminent piano accompanist and leading authority on the song repertoire, Roger Vignoles, is her long-standing musical partner.
Now in this collection Kirchschlager and Vignoles collaborate to perform nine Strauss songs as well as Wolf’s lieder to texts by Eduard Mörike and Gottfried Keller. Wolf set 43 of Mörike’s poems to music during a period of intense creativity in which he developed a heady new musical language. Kirchschlager delights in the opportunity to convey this with glorious colouring of phrases which are fittingly matched by the piano. The recording provides encores of music from each composer, including Strauss’ triumphant ‘Nichts,’ a fitting end to a compelling programme.
“What a generous communicator is the vivacious Angelika Kirchschlager. Quirky Hugo Wolf suits her rather better than Strauss's sometimes generic rapture, though she's splendidly scathing in the often archly delivered 'Für fünfzehn Pfennige'. The full extrovert personality seems to unleash the sometimes reticent Roger Vignoles”
“listen to [Morgen]...and you will hear a miniature master-class in Lieder singing...Kirchschlager's lightly worn mezzo burnishes a song that is too often over-gilded...It helps that Kirchschlager is such an accomplished singing actress...Vignoles is on tiptop form throughout.”
28th November 2010
“This recital shows the mezzo-soprano at the peak of her powers, richly characterful and infinitely expressive. The same statement can be made about her pianist, Vignoles, in what is quite properly a partnership of equals.”
“Few Lieder singers match Angelika Kirchschlager in vibrant stage personality. Even heard 'blind', the Austrian mezzo vividly illuminates each of Wolf's nature rhapsodies, vignettes and character sketches...In the wry and/or touching character studies of Wolf's Six Songs in the Old Style...Kirchschlager the born stage animal is in her element...'Morgen' is moving in its unsentimental sincerity”
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