- “Lyric Suite”.
This recording unites for the first time America’s soprano Renée Fleming and its premier string quartet, The Emersons, to take us on a journey into the world of Vienna in the 1920’s and 30’s in music filled with late romanticism and emerging modernism. Berg’s Lyric Suite is a work of intricate complexity believed to have a secret Love dedication to Franz Werfel’s sister. There are also two accompanying works, as listed below: Berg:
- Lyric Suite – for soprano and string quartet
- Sonnets For Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Op. 52
- Komm, süsser Tod
Performed by Renée Fleming, soprano, with the Emerson String Quartet. This was still a well-known Vienna: A world of paintings by Gustav Klimt, psychoanalysis by Freud and a musical life where you could hear Bruno Walter conduct Mahler and Clemens Krauss lead the operas of Richard Strauss. Egon Wellesz’s highly expressive setting of Sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning was one of the last works he completed before leaving Austria ahead of the Anschluss in 1938. It is heard here in its original version for soprano and string quartet. Renée Fleming is known for her performances of works by Richard Strauss, Korngold, Alban Berg and Gustav Mahler. Her unique sound is well suited to this repertoire. The Guardian wrote: “Fleming sings with velvety evenness, threading her vocal line through the swirling strings, but in a rather impersonal, neutral way. But it’s the performance of the whole work by the Emerson’s that it is so remarkable; there is much more emotional directness, less of the usual armor-plated efficiency about their playing, and that, combined with the total technical assurance, suits the world of late Berg perfectly.”
Here is Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet in Berg’s “Lyric Suite” – A Musical Love Story:
And next, here is a conversation with Renée Fleming: