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Track(s) taken from CDJ33003

Iphigenia, D573

First line:
Blüht denn hier an Tauris Strande
July 1817; published in 1829 as Op 98 No 3
author of text

Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: November 1988
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: December 1989
Total duration: 3 minutes 16 seconds


'This persuasive disc is faultlessly recorded' (Gramophone)

'We await more with enthusiasm and admiration' (American Record Guide)

'For me this represents some of the finest Lieder singing on record' (CDReview)

'Ann Murray's singing is flawless' (Music and Musicians)

'Simply superb' (San Francisco Chronicle)

'In Ann Murray we have a worthy successor in the Ferrier/Baker line, a lovely voice used with great sensitivity' (Which CD)
This is the Mayrhofer equivalent of Goethe's Kennst du das Land?. Instead of the waif Mignon who longs to return to her Italian homeland, we have a princess from Greek myth who implores the goddess Artemis to allow her to leave Tauris and return to the court of her father Agamemnon. Unbeknown to Iphigenia (and outside the scope of the song), Agamemnon has been slain by her mother Clytemnestra, who has in turn died at the hands of her brother Orestes. It is the type of dramatic classical subject that appealed to the poet, and Schubert was of course familiar with the Gluck opera (Iphigenia in Tauris) which unlike this song is no mere glimpse of the Euripides original, but introduces all the other characters, Orestes in particular, to flesh out the story. It is inevitable that Schubert's music for Iphigenia is also touched by a sense of Gluckian purity: this plaint to the goddess, like Orfeo's 'Che faro senza Eurydice', is unashamedly in the major key. There are really beautiful things here, the yearning vocal line over the dominant pedal on 'wo Geschwister mit mir spielten?' signalling a retreat into the innocence of childhood, and the impassioned plea to Diana of the last verse where we suddenly hear a grander character of royal birth. It is unusual for Mayrhofer's poetry to concern itself with female emotions, and although no competition for Goethe's Gretchen and Mignon, or Scott's Ellen, Iphigenia is the best of that misogynist poet's small number of songs for women.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989

Other albums featuring this work

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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