Magdalena Kožená / Matthew Polenzani / Thomas Quasthoff / Andrea Rost

Brahms: Lieder & Liebeslieder Waltzes

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The Verbier Festival in Switzerland has emerged as one of Europe's top summer concert destinations since its founding in 1994, attracting an array of top-level stars. This 2003 concert, recorded live, brought some of the hottest vocal stars of that year, as well as accompanists Yefim Bronfman and James Levine. The all-star format has advantages and disadvantages, among the former being the fact that a concert in Brahms' own time would often have included a group of singers rather than being a solo recital. The individual singers seem energized by the chance or necessity of catching the audience's attention in short sets of songs, and several of these are impressive. Bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff was rarely in better voice than on the Five Songs, Op. 94, but perhaps the real standout is mezzo Magdalena Kozená, better known as an aria singer, but awesomely compelling and controlled in Feldeinsamkeit. On the other side of the ledger is the set of problems inherent in all-star ensembles: the two sets of Liebeslieder waltzes are unobjectionable, but also lacking the sense of amateur fun written into these pieces. The show was well recorded, and Kozená and Quasthoff fans especially will want this in their collections.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:01
2 03:24
3 01:36
4 03:42
5 02:54
6 03:51
18 Liebeslieder-Walzer Op. 52
7 00:56
8 00:39
9 01:21
10 00:44
11 01:36
12 02:17
13 01:21
14 01:16
15 02:01
16 00:55
17 00:48
18 00:37
19 00:51
20 01:07
21 01:29
22 01:12
23 02:25
24 01:36
25 01:15
26 03:21
27 03:42
5 Lieder Op. 94
28 03:14
29 02:01
30 02:05
31 02:23
32 00:48
15 Neue Liebeslieder-Walzer Op. 65
33 00:40
34 01:29
35 01:26
36 00:44
37 01:18
38 00:45
39 01:04
40 01:39
41 01:35
42 01:02
43 00:38
44 01:30
45 02:05
46 01:30
47 03:55
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