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Leontyne Price - Leontyne Price Sings Richard Strauss (1974)

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Leontyne Price - Leontyne Price Sings Richard Strauss (1974)

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Four Last Songs
A1 	Frühling 	3:18
A2 	September 	4:15
A3 	Beim Schlafengehen 	4:38
A4 	Im Abendrot 	6:52

B1 	Die Frau Ohne Schatten – Act II: Empress' Awakening Scene	14:11
B2 	Der Rosenkavalier – Act I: Marschallin's Monologue 	6:00
B3 	Guntram – Act II: Freihild's Aria 	5:22

Leontyne Price - soprano
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Erich Leinsdorf - conductor
Men Of The Ambrosian Opera Chorus (B1)
Patricia Clark - soprano (B1)

 

Generous, rich and full-hearted Strauss singing here from one of the great sopranos of our time, albeit not without some squally passages and others where contact with the conductor seems to be hit-and-miss. Nor was Leontyne Price content to record only the juicy 'hits'. True, Ariadne's ''Es gibt ein Reich'' is here and one of the Marschallin's reveries, also the Closing Scene from Salome, but not many sopranos between 1965 and 1973, when these extracts were made, were recording the Empress's awakening from Die Frau ohne Schatten and arias from Guntram and Die aegyptische Helena.

Price is at her most commanding as the Empress, in a long excerpt in which Leinsdorf's conducting of the New Philharmonia is distinctly impressive; and Helena's ''Zweite Brautnacht!'' is a superb display of sustained impassioned singing, with a soaring line that the composer would surely have loved. I liked her charm and elegance as the Marschallin, moving effortlessly into a more tragic mood at the end of the aria. The transfers to CD are successful and the disc incidentally provides a remarkable demonstration of how Strauss created a different sound-world for each of his operas.' ---gramophone.co.uk

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