Kirsten Flagstad - London Farewell;  Sargent   (BBC Legends 4190)
Item# V0236
$29.90
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Product Description

Kirsten Flagstad - London Farewell;  Sargent   (BBC Legends 4190)
V0236. KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD, w.Sargent Cond. BBC S.O.: Ten Grieg Songs, Live Performance, 7 Sept., 1957, Royal Albert Hall; Wesendonck Lieder; Tristan - Liebestod (both Wagner), Live Performance, 14 Oct., 1953, Royal Festival Hall; John Culshaw remembers Kirsten Flagstad, 1972, BBC Studios. (England) BBC Legends 4190. Final Highly Elusive Sealed Copy! - 684911419023

CRITIC REVIEWS:

“This CD documents Kirsten Flagstad’s September 1957 farewell concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, in addition to Wagner’s ‘Liebestod’ from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE , recorded in 1953, the year of her legendary studio recording conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, and one year after her final Covent Garden performance in 1952. It also includes a commemoration of her activities in the 1950s by John Culshaw, the great record producer of the Solti RING who supervised her final series of Decca-London recordings starting in 1956. Flagstad died in 1962 at the age of 67. The remarkable thing is that her voice never deteriorated significantly until the year before her death. That wondrous instrument had the power of Birgit Nilsson, but far more warmth, and with that, more humanity. She had a surprisingly wide range of operatic repertoire that encompassed 50 roles, including Weber, Johann Strauss, Gluck, Handel, and even Puccini. She also concentrated on Lieder, but the central core of her reputation and repertoire that she was born to sing was Wagner.

In the Grieg orchestral songs recorded here, Flagstad’s pitch stability, tonal richness, and total emotional commitment are obvious, but the huge voice ultimately overpowers these fragile and lovely miniatures, which are better suited to a smaller instrument. The Wesendonck Lieder are similarly subdued and lyrical, but the stylistic proximity to TRISTAN makes them a perfect fit. ‘Träume’ has never sounded better. Even when singing softly, her sense of latent power is astonishing. As for the ‘Liebestod’, she has no peer. Sir Malcolm Sargent accompanies Flagstad with remarkable intensity and insight. The sound is mono, but it really doesn’t matter in a recording like this, except to say that the Grieg songs have far more palpable presence. In the final analysis, Flagstad was one of the legitimate wonders of the musical world, and this late recording of her voice, still near its prime, is a treasure.”

- Arthur Lintgen, FANFARE



“This CD documents Kirsten Flagstad’s September 1957 farewell concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, in addition to Wagner’s ‘Liebestod’ from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, recorded in 1953, the year of her legendary studio recording conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, and one year after her final Covent Garden performance in 1952. It also includes a commemoration of her activities in the 1950s by John Culshaw, the great record producer of the Solti RING who supervised her final series of Decca-London recordings starting in 1956. Flagstad died in 1962 at the age of 67. The remarkable thing is that her voice never deteriorated significantly until the year before her death. That wondrous instrument had the power of Birgit Nilsson, but far more warmth, and with that, more humanity. She had a surprisingly wide range of operatic repertoire that encompassed 50 roles, including Weber, Johann Strauss, Gluck, Handel, and even Puccini. She also concentrated on Lieder, but the central core of her reputation and repertoire that she was born to sing was Wagner.

In the Grieg orchestral songs recorded here, Flagstad’s pitch stability, tonal richness, and total emotional commitment are obvious, but the huge voice ultimately overpowers these fragile and lovely miniatures, which are better suited to a smaller instrument. The Wesendonck Lieder are similarly subdued and lyrical, but the stylistic proximity to TRISTAN makes them a perfect fit. ‘Träume’ has never sounded better. Even when singing softly, her sense of latent power is astonishing. As for the ‘Liebestod’, she has no peer. Sir Malcolm Sargent accompanies Flagstad with remarkable intensity and insight. The sound is mono, but it really doesn’t matter in a recording like this, except to say that the Grieg songs have far more palpable presence. In the final analysis, Flagstad was one of the legitimate wonders of the musical world, and this late recording of her voice, still near its prime, is a treasure.”

- Arthur Lintgen, FANFARE