Author Topic: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo  (Read 5416 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4012
Any nice ladies who can sing this stuff without damaging my ears?

I've been spot sampling recordings of Frauenliebe on Qobuz. These are the results so far. Obviously, I'm not really finding what I'm looking for.
Good
?

Acceptable
Elisabeth Kulman
Juliane Banse (not really my type, but compelling)
Elly Ameling

Not good and/or Boring
Anne Sofie von Otter
Caroline Melzer
Phyllis Bryn-Julson
Bernarda Fink
Teresa Berganza
Michaela Kaune (could be 'acceptable' maybe)

Bad
Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Angelika Kirchschlager
Barbara Bonney
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Arleen Auger
Miah Persson
Ann Murray

Pain-inducing
Kathleen Ferrier
Sarah Connolly
Waltraud Meier
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 12:48:19 PM by amw »

Offline Moonfish

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6252
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    Timeless soundscapes...
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 03:12:01 AM »
How do you like Baker's rendition?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7t2A8QDBoII" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7t2A8QDBoII</a>
"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
Anna Lappé

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11449
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 04:46:45 AM »
Margaret Price, and above all Loraine Hunt Lieberson
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 05:07:34 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8820
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 05:07:49 AM »
None of those, huh? Hmmm. Well, how about Jesse Norman (lush voice, but a shot in the dark not knowing the problem with the others)? Sample on youtube:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/zRJnEsBolyY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/zRJnEsBolyY</a>

What is it exactly you dislike about all of them? Are there any common threads?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 05:10:22 AM by mc ukrneal »
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline springrite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6259
  • Location: Flying all over the place
  • Currently Listening to:
    Lots of Bach, Brian, Mahler, Rubbra, Beethoven and Buddhist chants
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 05:15:32 AM »
My favourite is Fassbaender.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 16082
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 09:20:40 AM »
An all time clasic is Lotte Lehmann with Bruno Walter behind the piano. Firmly in the historical recordings category, but you might be surprised.

Probably not surprising that I would mention Elly Ameling, is it? :D Don't know it is available,  though...

And I would investigate Irmgard Seefried (Orfeo), if I were you - it has been on my wishlist forever. Orfeo has issued a box set in the mean time - might get that, I'm a fan....

Q

À chacun son goût.

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4012
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 01:36:57 PM »
How do you like Baker's rendition?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7t2A8QDBoII" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7t2A8QDBoII</a>
Probably would end up in the 'Not good' category; if Dame Janet could keep the vibrato in check it would be bumped up to acceptable or better as she's definitely got the character down

None of those, huh? Hmmm. Well, how about Jesse Norman (lush voice, but a shot in the dark not knowing the problem with the others)? Sample on youtube:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/zRJnEsBolyY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/zRJnEsBolyY</a>

What is it exactly you dislike about all of them? Are there any common threads?
Didn't go into detail at the time because I was tired and wanted to go to sleep... now that it's morning: The most common offenses are (a) continuous vibrato, (b) wide vibrato and (c) not shaping phrases with sufficient care. (I don't know much about voices, I just know what I like :\ )

Not really a fan of Jessye Norman's account—not sure I'd describe her voice as 'lush' either.

An all time clasic is Lotte Lehmann with Bruno Walter behind the piano. Firmly in the historical recordings category, but you might be surprised.

Probably not surprising that I would mention Elly Ameling, is it? :D Don't know it is available,  though...

And I would investigate Irmgard Seefried (Orfeo), if I were you - it has been on my wishlist forever. Orfeo has issued a box set in the mean time - might get that, I'm a fan....
Based on what I heard, I think I might be better off investigating your least favourite recordings ;)

LHL & Fassbaender are not for me in this repertoire (I don't mind LHL in more modern stuff, sometimes).

Hope this helps?

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 16082
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 02:27:20 PM »
Based on what I heard, I think I might be better off investigating your least favourite recordings ;)

I'm curious what you are looking for…  8)

Whatever it is, you seem to be running out of names!  ;)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Moonfish

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6252
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    Timeless soundscapes...
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2015, 02:45:30 PM »
I'm curious what you are looking for…  8)

Whatever it is, you seem to be running out of names!  ;)

Q

He needs a rendition with DFD!  ;)
"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
Anna Lappé

Offline betterthanfine

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: The Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2015, 03:24:26 PM »
Probably would end up in the 'Not good' category; if Dame Janet could keep the vibrato in check it would be bumped up to acceptable or better as she's definitely got the character down

Baker has recorded the cycle a few times, with various pianists. Perhaps one of her other accounts might be more to your taste?

I think this one with Martin Isepp on piano is the earliest one, which I enjoy very much:



And then there's a later one with Barenboim:


Offline betterthanfine

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: The Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2015, 03:29:39 PM »
Also worth a mention is Bernarda Fink, who is better than Baker in my opinion, although you might find her vibrato a bit much.



Edit: never mind, I see you've considered her already, to no avail. ;)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 03:35:39 PM by betterthanfine »

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4012
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 09:57:30 PM »
Also worth a mention is Bernarda Fink, who is better than Baker in my opinion, although you might find her vibrato a bit much.
That's basically it. I will say she was one of the better ones I heard. Also I sampled a Fink recording with a different cover, so I may not have heard the one you posted, unless it's a reissue.

Sopranos & mezzos I like: Early Music Mafia (Sophie Daneman, Emma Kirkby, Montserrat Figuerras, Anonymous 4... etc... etc...), Contemporary Music Mafia (Sarah Maria Sun<3, Deborah Kayser, Juliet Fraser, Cathy Berberian... etc... also where I like Juliane Banse from, Kurtág & Holliger), Kiri Te Kanawa, Patricia Petibon, ... Frederica von Stade? Probably others I can't think of right now. I could swear there are more. Of course none of them have recorded Schumann that I know (I know Schumann demands a different style than say Mozart or Holliger, but really, Countess Almaviva should be able to sing this cycle with, like, zero adjustment. Oh well.) of so instead I'm looking through a bunch of names I either have never heard of or know I don't like.

Some of them might grow on me—I know I didn't like Banse at first, but gave her a chance because I like Kafka-Fragmente so much, and it turned out to be better than I was expecting. I'll listen to more than just 'Helft mir Schwestern' for some of the more promising ones. As the above list probably indicates, I'm totally willing to break all my self-imposed rules for the right woman.

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 16082
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 10:11:28 PM »
I'm totally willing to break all my self-imposed rules for the right woman.

Quote of the week!!!  :D  Who wouldn't?  I did! ;D

But you haven't quite fully explained what kind of woman you are atually looking for? ::) (Apart from not too much vibrato)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Moonfish

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6252
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    Timeless soundscapes...
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 10:24:15 PM »
Magdalena Kožená?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/g0cxUtgTJMI" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/g0cxUtgTJMI</a>
"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
Anna Lappé

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4012
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 10:51:59 PM »
But you haven't quite fully explained what kind of woman you are atually looking for? ::) (Apart from not too much vibrato)
Thought the list of singers I like might help show where I'm coming from?

(With the caveat that no singer, male or female, can ever be the equal of Sarah Vaughan)

Moonfish, will check her out later—I recall enjoying some of her Mahler, though not as much as I enjoyed Christian Gerhaher's contributions on the same album.

Online Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4228
  • Location: Germany
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2015, 01:19:57 AM »
I have not heard Ameling but she has less vibrato than many other singers of her generation. I have a recording with Lucia Popp and while I do not remember much about it (I frankly did not care so much for the music and the texts are also hard to ignore - sentimental patriarchy...) she might well be somewhat boring but also rather inoffensive in the vibrato department. It was a dirt cheap RCA disc, not sure about availability.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9811
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2015, 12:16:51 PM »
Ok, I will give this a try, though all my favourite versions have already been junked, except I don't see any feedback on Margaret Price, who may suit you. Other than her, perhaps try Edith Mathis.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline betterthanfine

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: The Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2015, 01:45:45 PM »
Countess Almaviva should be able to sing this cycle with, like, zero adjustment

How 'bout Lisa Della Casa?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/c_X5SW14PmM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/c_X5SW14PmM</a>

Although, again, I fear the vibrato won't be to your tastes (especially now that you've mentioned Kirkby and Figueras as favorites, both of whom I cannot stand ;) ). And yes, the Fink cd I linked to is a reissue.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 01:47:40 PM by betterthanfine »

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8820
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2015, 04:34:37 AM »
The vibrato is the killer in terms of finding something for you. At first, I was leaning toward Jurinac, but I am not sure it will meet your tastes - here's a sample:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7Imlx3GZ_W8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7Imlx3GZ_W8</a>

Fassbaender is good rec (one I had forgotten). Here is a sample of her singing (less vibrato, but not sure if you will find it too much, though the approach is more understated):
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/w9CO6kKfigk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/w9CO6kKfigk</a>
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 16082
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Re: Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben & other songs for soprano or mezzo
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2015, 10:56:33 AM »
Thought the list of singers I like might help show where I'm coming from?

I'm afraid not... ::) It is just a long and very diverse list of performances singers you don't like.
I share your admiration for Juliane Banse (in general), but she uses vibrato! ??? That doesn't make any sense….

BTW I think vibrato is perfectly normal in Romantic music. Perhaps not in Baroque, but in Romantic music I am definitely Old School...
Schumann without vibrato? That is like a car without wheels… in my humble, strictly personal opinion 8)

Q
À chacun son goût.