In a scene where the recordings of young sopranos tend toward an extreme sameness, Austria's Anna Prohaska would deserve kudos simply for the ambition of this release of soldiers' songs. The idea, especially for a female singer, is original, and the music draws on a great variety of sources, from Scottish song to Wolfgang Rihm. Better still is the execution, which shows Prohaska's extreme versatility. She's one of the few non-Anglophone singers to get the difficult combination of vernacular American English and popular-classical crossover referentiality in the three Charles Ives songs included, and she moves effortlessly from the edgy anger of Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler to the more delicate tragic sense of Roger Quilter. Few of the songs beyond Schubert's Ellens Gesang, which receives a really uncanny performance, are really well known, and this is the kind of album that leaves one wondering how anyone missed all this music. The cover photos of Prohaska in a trench coat, trudging through sere meadows, may be a bit much, but the accompaniment of Eric Schneider is nicely understated, and the sonic presentation is clear and unfussy. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Egmont, Op. 84|
Polyubila ya na pecal' svoyu (I Have Become Infatuated with My Own Sorrow) (No. 4 from Six Romances, Op. 8)
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