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Hyperion Records

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A Summer Night (1890) by Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893)
Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67844
Recording details: January 2012
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2012
Total duration: 3 minutes 19 seconds

'Vignoles plays the often extended introductions and postludes … quite magically, to say nothing of the extended interludes … my pleasure in this latest volume is without any reservations. Elizabeth Watts sings gloriously, rising fluently to the high tessitura of Strauss's melodic lines (immediately obvious in the first few songs included in the recital). Her beautiful voice, sensitive phrasing and response to word-meanings are consistently rewarding and her partnership with Roger Vignoles could hardly be more beautifully balanced' (Gramophone)

'Watts takes flight in this repertoire, her warm, generous soprano broadening into a luscious, creamy-toned wonder. Tonal glamour? You bet' (The Guardian)

'Watts has the full measure of the drama … she reveals herself as an accomplished Straussian throughout this recital and nowhere more so than in the very last song that the composer wrote, Malven, written for soprano Maria Jeritza in 1948 after he had finished the Vier letzte Lieder. A gift from one great artist to another and a fitting end to this admirable recording' (International Record Review)

Malven, TrV297
First line:
Aus Rosen, Phlox
composer
November 1948; first performed by Kiri Te Kanawa and Martin Katz on 10 January 1985
author of text

Introduction  EnglishDeutsch
This, the last Strauss song to be published posthumously, was also his very last composition. He wrote it in November 1948, two months after completing the Vier letzte Lieder. In March 1949 he sent the manuscript as a personal gift to the soprano Maria Jeritza. A famous interpreter of many Strauss roles, she guarded it closely in her possession until her death, after which it was sold, enabling its first performance to take place on 10 January 1985, sung by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa accompanied by Martin Katz. With its wide-ranging vocal line, flexible phrasing and organically developing motifs, Malven clearly has much in common with the Vier letzte Lieder, especially Beim Schlafengehen, even including an extended piano interlude similar to the violin solo that precedes the final stanza in the latter song. But its harmonic colouring is all its own, coolly juxtaposing flat-side major harmonies (E flat, D flat) with ‘whiter’ minor tonalities (E minor, A minor). Strauss’s tonal palette was clearly undimmed, and it is perhaps to be regretted that Mme Jeritza did not (as requested) make a copy for Strauss from which he would almost certainly have orchestrated the song. For pianists, on the other hand, it provides a delicate but satisfying coda to Strauss’s lifetime of Lieder.

from notes by Roger Vignoles 2012

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