C. Brewer, Great Strauss Scenes, E. Owens, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, D. Runnicles
(released on June 27, 2010)
TELARC 31755-02 | 59'10"
Strauss, Lieder, D. Damrau, Munich Philharmonic, C. Thielemann
(released on February 15, 2011)
Virgin 628664 0 8 | 71'09"
A more recent Strauss release, a full disc of Lieder sung by German soprano Diana Damrau, is another easy recommendation. There is not much to add to what Jens Laurson already wrote about this disc, although this is a completely different kind of voice than Brewer's dramatic soprano, the result is a delectable confection, not least because of a far superior orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, and perhaps the greatest living Strauss conductor, Christian Thielemann. As Jens also noted of a good part of the program he heard live in Munich, Damrau's is not a large voice, but the effect in recording is more balanced and clearly audible, one of those situations where a recording is preferable to the experience live. Strauss worshiped the soprano voice in all its facets and colors: Damrau represents the lighter side of the voice, the soprano of Sophie, Zerbinetta, and Aithra -- the yin to Brewer's yang, as it were -- and she sings this music so well (the winged fluttering of Cupid in Amor, op. 68/5, being perhaps the most stunning example). The selection of songs is generous and wide-ranging over the composer's lifetime, with the only complete set being the six songs of the op. 68 Brentano-Lieder.