Renee Fleming Sings Strauss
In my last Post of September 22, I shared with you the beauty of the Last 4 Songs by Richard Strauss, as performed by Barbara Bonney. Just one of the special qualities of that performance was the fact that the accompaniment was done by piano alone.
In this CD, we hear Ms. Fleming performing several Strauss songs, including the 4 Last Songs, but this time it’s done with orchestral accompaniment. It is the Houston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach. Here’s a way for you to compare which of these you prefer…
Strauss was a master orchestrator. He was able to achieve amazing results of color, texture, variety, and richness of sound. Strauss was 84 years old when he completed these songs, and they were published after his death. They were first performed in 1950, in London, by the Philharmonia Orchestra, under Wilhelm Furtwaengler.
One cannot write enough about Ms. Fleming, and it’s really hard to be original in describing her voice. I own 3 or 4 other CD’s which I acquired in my search for the interpretation I liked. I stopped my search when I heard this one. Ms. Fleming’s voice in natural, silky, musical, and her interpretation is sensitive, and totally in line with the amazing poems that form the basis for this masterpiece. The single quality that is special for me is Ms. Fleming’s ability to express utter serenity in so many of these selections.
We also get 5 additional Strauss songs in this recording, all quite well – known and beautifully presented.
This is a CD worth collecting and enjoying often.
To hear samples, go to: