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Thread: Richard Strauss - Four Last Songs - Who's the mummy?

  1. #271
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    Janowitz/Karajan. End of story. Definitive labor/labour of love.
    Last edited by hpowders; Oct-19-2016 at 19:49.

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  3. #272
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    The good thing is nobody is talking about it, they like it for the cover, like so many of her records.
    I didn't even look at the cover when I downloaded it so I don't even have that as an excuse. I just thought - how bad could it be? Little did I suspect!
    Life: very rarely does it have a happy ending.

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  5. #273
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    Janowitz/Karajan. End of story. Definitive labor/labour of love.
    I hear you and agree that it is a wonderful version but I wouldn't be without some of my others. Lucia Popp, Frau Schwarzkopf and Felicity Lott to name only a few!
    Life: very rarely does it have a happy ending.

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  7. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    I didn't even look at the cover when I downloaded it so I don't even have that as an excuse. I just thought - how bad could it be? Little did I suspect!
    Rude awakening so to speak.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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  9. #275
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Here is an interesting version of the Four Last Songs - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf with Sir John Barbirolli and the London Symphony Orchestra recorded live in the Royal Festival Hall. Whoever directed the recording, they did a slightly odd job with the microphone setup as it makes Schwarzkopf sound a bit harsh and almost in a separate acoustic, but otherwise is definitely worthwhile hearing.


  10. #276
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    A personal favorite

    Kirsten Flagstad; "Vier letzte Lieder"; Richard Strauss
    Wilhelm Furtwängler--Conductor Philharmonia Orchestra 1950
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uqYW1JH7Qk

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  12. #277
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Interesting that in the documentary about Kaufmann he was going to sing them

  13. #278
    Senior Member Pugg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    I hear you and agree that it is a wonderful version but I wouldn't be without some of my others. Lucia Popp, Frau Schwarzkopf and Felicity Lott to name only a few!
    I knew I forgot to tell / ask you something: did you ever heard the Amsterdam version by Janowitz/ Haitink?
    If not your missing out big time.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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  15. #279
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    I knew I forgot to tell / ask you something: did you ever heard the Amsterdam version by Janowitz/ Haitink?
    If not your missing out big time.
    Yes I got that Pugg. It is rather good but I love Janowitz's voice anyway.
    Life: very rarely does it have a happy ending.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Interesting that in the documentary about Kaufmann he was going to sing them
    Yes, he seems unafraid to tackle repertoire with which male singers are generally unassociated. I rather enjoyed his Wesendonck Lieder.
    Life: very rarely does it have a happy ending.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    did you ever heard the Amsterdam version by Janowitz/ Haitink?
    If not your missing out big time.
    I like it better than Janowitz/Karajan - in particular, the sonics are much better - but I wish that they hadn't rushed through Im Abendrot. I'm not suggesting that they needed to wallow a la Norman/Masur, but at that pace it loses the elegaic feel.

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  19. #282
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    Popp finishes first, with Liz and Gunny also-rans...

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  21. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    Popp finishes first, with Liz and Gunny also-rans...
    Not too shabby for also-rans!!
    Life: very rarely does it have a happy ending.

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  23. #284
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    I'm a big fan of Gundula Janowitz, but not of Karajan. Besides, I think the younger Karajan did this music better with Schwarzkopf (albeit in lesser mono sound). I wish Janowitz had recorded these works with Rudolf Kempe and the Staatskapelle Dresden instead. Haitink is another excellent Strauss conductor, but why did they take Im Abendrot so fast? It doesn't work for me (I agree with Bill).

    The same is true for Lisa Della Casa's wonderfully sung Four Last Songs--another great singer working with an arguably second rate conductor, Karl Böhm, who rushes her in the final song (& elsewhere), bringing it in at a speedy 6:00 minutes. Sorry, that's just bad conducting. At least, to my ears, they're not on the same page, as apparently Della Casa's instincts were to slow down and Böhm didn't want to.

    In contrast, a live recording with Elly Ameling from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam pairs a great singer with a 1st class, seasoned Strauss conductor, Wolfgang Sawallisch. (Sawallisch performed every note that Strauss ever composed over the course of his long career, or at least set out to do so & got very close...). However, unfortunately, the concert was late in Ameling's career, and her voice isn't quite as fresh and youthful sounding as it was in her prime. Nevertheless, the artistry is still there, and I find the subtlety of her interpretation fascinating.

    I also like Elisabeth Söderström's two recordings (with Dorati & Armstrong--especially in the 3rd song), Arleen Auger and the Vienna Philharmonic (Previn's timings are near ideal, especially in the 4th song--best ever), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the 3rd song (with Ackermann and Szell), and for sheer opulence, Jessye Norman and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Masur, who brilliantly take the final song more slowly than anyone else I've heard.

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  25. #285
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    Does anybody else think that Daphne's final scene is in the same league as 4LS musically? No Hesse for poetry, but otherwise the rapture is quite intense.

    I'm just breaking into Lott's recordings recently. Guess I need to hear her 4LS as well.
    Last edited by philoctetes; Nov-14-2017 at 19:43.

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