Magdalena Kožená: Soirée

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Richard Strauss, Antonín Dvořák, Johannes Brahms, Maurice Ravel, Leoš Janáček, (Amedée-)Ernest Chausson, Igor Stravinsky

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Pentatone

Media Format: Super Audio CD

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: PTC5186 671

PTC5186 671. Magdalena Kožená: Soirée

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(4) Lieder Rahel Rilling
Magdalena Kozená
Simon Rattle
Wolfram Brandl
Richard Strauss Composer
David Adorján
Andrew Marriner
In Folk Tone Wolfram Brandl
Rahel Rilling
Andrew Marriner
Magdalena Kozená
Antonín Dvořák Composer
Yulia Deyneka
David Adorján
Ophelia Lieder Andrew Marriner
Wolfram Brandl
Johannes Brahms Composer
Yulia Deyneka
Simon Rattle
Magdalena Kozená
Rahel Rilling
David Adorján
(3) Chansons madécasses Maurice Ravel Composer
Yulia Deyneka
Magdalena Kozená
Wolfram Brandl
Rahel Rilling
Andrew Marriner
Simon Rattle
David Adorján
Nursery Rhymes Yulia Deyneka
Andrew Marriner
Leoš Janáček Composer
Rahel Rilling
David Adorján
Wolfram Brandl
Magdalena Kozená
Simon Rattle
Chanson perpétuelle Rahel Rilling
Andrew Marriner
Simon Rattle
Magdalena Kozená
David Adorján
(Amedée-)Ernest Chausson Composer
Yulia Deyneka
Wolfram Brandl
(7) Gipsy Melodies, 'Zigeunerlieder' Rahel Rilling
David Adorján
Andrew Marriner
Antonín Dvořák Composer
Magdalena Kozená
Wolfram Brandl
Yulia Deyneka
Cypresses David Adorján
Yulia Deyneka
Andrew Marriner
Wolfram Brandl
Magdalena Kozená
Antonín Dvořák Composer
Rahel Rilling
(7) Gipsy Melodies, 'Zigeunerlieder' Rahel Rilling
Yulia Deyneka
Wolfram Brandl
Antonín Dvořák Composer
Magdalena Kozená
Andrew Marriner
David Adorján
(3) Shakespeare Songs Wolfram Brandl
Magdalena Kozená
Andrew Marriner
David Adorján
Yulia Deyneka
Rahel Rilling
Simon Rattle
Kaspar Sehnder
Igor Stravinsky Composer
(7) Gipsy Melodies, 'Zigeunerlieder' Simon Rattle
David Adorján
Andrew Marriner
Yulia Deyneka
Wolfram Brandl
Antonín Dvořák Composer
Rahel Rilling
Magdalena Kozená
2 Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano Kaspar Sehnder
Johannes Brahms Composer
Wolfram Brandl
David Adorján
Magdalena Kozená
Andrew Marriner
Yulia Deyneka
Simon Rattle
Rahel Rilling
Don’t turn up empty-handed of an evening chez Rattle. While a bottle of red wine and a bouquet of flowers may be de rigueur for most dinner parties, you’d be better advised to pitch up with an instrument here so you can participate in the musical entertainment. ‘Soirée’ is performed by Magdalena KoŽená ‘& Friends’, including Sir Simon making his debut recording as a pianist. The assembled ‘friends’ include string players from Berlin – although not the Philharmonic – and Andrew Marriner, just retired as the LSO’s principal clarinet.

In her introductory programme note, KoŽená pines for the days of musical soirées, playing ‘for the sheer pleasure of it’, with alcohol freeing up the musicians. She declares, however, that the Berlin recording sessions were ‘completely teetotal’ … which is rather a shame, as the results are just a little bland. The programme is an eclectic mix of repertoire for mezzo-soprano with chamber accompaniment, ranging from Ravel to Brahms to Janáček, but the performances are so uniform as to iron out many of the essential differences between them.

There is some lovely singing from KoŽená, whose fawn-tinted mezzo retains its attractive quality from her earliest discs, especially her Dvořák, Janáček and Martinů DG debut (8/00). But there is now a lack of bloom on top notes and her mooning manner in Chausson’s ‘Chanson perpétuelle’ is a little arch. She sings the two Brahms collections well, especially the Ophelia Songs, and is at her best in her native Czech. She seems less comfortable with the angular phrases of Ravel’s Chansons madécasses.

The chamber-group support is refined and well-behaved – the only exception being the sung choral interjections in one of Janáček’s spiky Říkadla (‘Nursery Rhymes’). Rattle’s gentle, unforced pianism doesn’t get in the way and Wolfram Brandl’s soaring violin in Strauss’s ‘Morgen!’ is beautifully judged. Of the arrangements, Aribert Reimann’s Brahms is more piquant than Duncan Ward’s slightly soporific Dvořák, although the swooning ‘Songs my mother taught me’ is one of the disc’s rare plums.

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