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‘Frozen in the winter’s ice’: Anne Schwanewilms

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available at Amazon
Strauss Songs

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Strauss, Lieder, Hallé Orchestra, M. Elder

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Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier, Dresden Staatskapelle, F. Luisi
Read my review published today in the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Anne Schwanewilms at Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
Washington Post, February 1, 2010
Illness scuttled Anne Schwanewilms's Vocal Arts Society performance in 2007, so anticipation was high for Saturday night's return engagement. Then came the snow. And another bad cold. But the German soprano persevered and gave the crowd an evening to remember. That she coughed and drank water periodically throughout the concert at Kennedy Center Terrace Theater only made the achievement all the more remarkable.

Schwanewilms has established herself as one of the world's leading interpreters of the songs by composers Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler. Indeed, many of the Strauss selections can be found on her highly regarded contribution to the complete recording of the Strauss songs, led by pianist Roger Vignoles on the Hyperion label. Saturday, she sang with the flexibility and self-assurance that comes with familiarity with the score and poetry, more than once transposing or substituting words, a breezy manner that gave idiomatic charm to the performance.

Her voice is ideally suited to the demands of Strauss, capable of transparent lightness at the top, but with enough weight to power through a long phrase. This soft velvet ribbon of sound, given various colors, served to evoke, among other qualities, the anxiety of a boy's beating heart in "Schlagende Herzen," naive sweetness in "Nachtgang" and wintry gloom in "Mein Herz Ist Stumm." Impressive control of upper and lower registers made for seamless connections between them in the last phrase of the lovely "Die Nacht." [Continue reading]
Anne Schwanewilms, soprano (with Malcolm Martineau, piano)
Vocal Arts Society
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

In Der Rosenkavalier, Lyric Opera of Chicago (2006)

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