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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Angelika Kirchschlager by Sim Canetty-Clarke (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67934
Recording details: October 2011
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Simon Kiln
Engineered by Arne Akselberg
Release date: July 2012
Total duration: 4 minutes 54 seconds

'Finding a wide palette of colours within her naturally warm mezzo, Kirchschlager is in her element … this recital should open many ears to the richness and variety of Liszt's songs. Recording and presentation are first-class' (Gramophone)

'The more one hears of Liszt's songs, the more one wonders why they have been so rarely performed … Kirchschlager's rich, resonant mezzo finds beauties everywhere on this disc, from heights of drama to intimacies of reflection, and at every turn Drake is with her' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a fascinating and rewarding recital, which explores Liszt’s oeuvre from the 1840s to 1870s … the grainy and distinctive timbre of Kirchschlager’s vivid mezzo-soprano is well suited to this highly charged emotional world, and Drake’s playing is eloquently impassioned without sinking to fortissimo ham' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Hyperion's retrospective of Liszt's complete songs [is] one of the most important recording projects of recent years … Kirchschlager is exquisite and intensely dramatic by turns … Drake is outstanding throughout' (The Guardian)

'The high expectations roused by Volume 1 of Hyperion's compete Liszt songs … are more than met with this second instalment … the programme is excellently chosen to showcase Liszt's versatility as a master of Romantic song … Kirchschlager's extraordinary dramatic gifts are displayed in the two longest songs here, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher and Die drei Zigeuner … rich new levels of meaning are revealed … Kirchschlager and Drake deliver performances that set the beauty and inventiveness of each song in high relief … not to be missed' (International Record Review)

La perla, S326 Second version
First line:
Sono del mare bianca la figlia
composer
1872; LW N67
author of text

Introduction
La perla was probably composed in homage to the noblewoman who wrote the poem: Thérèse von Hohenlohe-Waldenburg (1817–1895), who was a cousin of Princess Marie von Sayn-Wittgenstein (the daughter of Liszt’s mistress Carolyne by her estranged Russian husband) and the mother of Rilke’s later patroness Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis. Thérèse and Liszt had encountered one another in Rome, and Liszt visited the Hohenlohe villa in Duino in 1867–8. In this poem she endows a pearl with a persona and a history, from its birth in a mussel shell to its brutal removal from its oceanic home and its subsequent slavery in adornment for the rich: the rape of Nature to satisfy human vanity. In the postlude of this extended dramatic song we hear a grief-stricken, chromatic transformation of the placid sea-music at the start.

from notes by Susan Youens 2012

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