[ Decca Music Group / CD ]
Release Date: Thursday 20 June 2019
A selection of Richard Strauss's most-loved lieder and songs, and Elisabeth's arias from Wagner's Tannhäuser, the role in which Lise Davidsen will make her debut at Bayreuth Festival. Plus Ariadne's aria from Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos: her 2017 Glyndebourne debut in the title role was named "one of those 'I was there' moments" (The Times).
Also includes Strauss's iconic Four Last Songs, originally premiered by Decca's Kirsten Flagstad. Recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra, who performed the premiere of the Four Last Songs, and Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Lise Davidsen is the first Scandinavian soprano to sign to Decca since Birgit Nilsson, and the first Norwegian singer to join Decca since Kirsten Flagstad's acclaimed recordings in 1950s. She is winner of The World Opera Competition, Plácido Domingo's Operalia (2015), winner of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition (2015), and Gramophone Young Artist of the Year (2018).
"Davidsen is no ordinary singer. Throughout the whole album one marvels at the voice, its easy grandeur and sheer size, its steely focus and security… The timbre has a default cool beauty but she can flood it with warmth to fill out a phrase magnificently. These gifts are matched by the maturity, honesty and integrity of Davidsen's approach. This album only reinforces the fact that she is one of the greatest vocal talents to have emerged in recent years, if not decades." Gramophone Magazine June 2019 Editor's Choice
"It's not just the voice - though that is special in itself, gleaming and electric in tone, and buoyed by a seemingly endless supply of breath. It's also the way she is able to create a still fulcrum even while all Wagner and Strauss's orchestral manoeuvres churn around her...There is, however, perhaps room for a little more individuality if she wants to make the iconic Four Last Songs truly her own." Guardian
"[Her voice] is an astonishingly strong and flexible one, easily encompassing the sonorous depths and soaring flights needed for the Four Last Songs and other Strauss treasures...Davidsen's gale-force salutation in the Tannhäuser aria Dich, teure Halle, the opening track, left me breathless: she isn't a lyric dramatic soprano for nothing." Times
"This almost knocked me over. I truly have not heard a voice of this grandeur in years: it sounds as if it's enormous, the tone is beautiful, the registers unbroken. The focus is almost Nilsson-like but by leaning slightly on the tone she brings a warm glow, and I defy anyone to find a weak spot or unsupported note. Add to that the sheer allure of the voice-womanly and colorful." ClassicsToday
Wagner: Tannhäuser, WWV 70 / Act 2
Wagner: Tannhäuser, WWV 70 / Act 3
Strauss, R: Ariadne auf Naxos
Strauss, R: Vier Lieder Op. 27
Strauss, R: Fünf Lieder, Op. 41 - Wiegenlied
Strauss, R: Malven, TrV 297 (Arr. Rihm)
Strauss, R: Vier letzte Lieder