COMPOSERS: Schubert,Schumann,Tchaikovsky & Liszt
LABELS: Classics for Pleasure
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Romantic Songs
WORKS: Frauenliebe und -leben; Der Hirt auf dem Felsen
PERFORMER: Margaret Price (soprano), James Lockhart (piano), Jack Brymer (clarinet)
CATALOGUE NO: 5 73718 2 ADD Reissue (1973, 1971)
Margaret Price’s 1973 recording of Frauenliebe und -leben is one of the most treasurable in the catalogue. With the glorious voice in its first, radiant bloom and an ever-alert response to mood and nuance, she graphically captures the cycle’s progression from innocent rapture, through bewilderment and joy to the numbness of bereavement, finding a haunted, blanched timbre for the closing song. The only drawback is James Lockhart’s efficient but unimaginative (and slightly clangily recorded) accompaniment.
Price brings strong, gleaming tone to Schubert’s majestic ‘Auf der Riesenkoppe’, and an ideal purity and cleanness of attack to ‘Der Hirt auf dem Felsen’. The Tchaikovsky numbers, including the inevitable ‘None but the lonely heart’, are sensuously and idiomatically shaped; and if the Liszt songs can be a shade generalised, Price is deliciously confidential in the nocturnal serenade ‘Kling leise, mein Lied’, and brings an apt touch of the grand manner, with thrillingly ringing top notes, to ‘Lorelei’. Richard Wigmore