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M.° Joseph Keilberth & Martha Mödl – “Der Engel” (1857) from “Wesendock Lieder – Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme” (Five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck) – Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

by Luca

M.° Joseph Keilberth & Martha Mödl – “Der Engel” (1857) from “Wesendock Lieder – Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme” (Five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck) – Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883).

ARCHIPEL Studio Recording “Wesendonck Lieder – Ouverture Tannhäuser & Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – 1940-55 Recordings” – ℗ 2008
Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester – Recorded in 1955.

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“The two unifying factors on this 2008 Archipel release are the composer Richard Wagner and the conductor Joseph Keilberth. Wagner, of course, was the nineteenth century German composer whose reputation had been soiled by his posthumous association with National Socialism, while Keilberth was the German conductor of the younger generation whose direct and dramatic approach to Wagner’s music entirely bypassed the blended textures and epic lengths of the previous generation.
[…] The Wesendonck-Lieder with soprano Martha Mödl and the Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester, from 1955. Where Keilberth’s approach is direct and dramatic, Mödl’s is simply dramatic, and this distance between their styles is obvious in their performance. It’s not that Mödl’s style is unappealing. From the start of “Der Engel,” her wide but controlled vibrato, rich but subtle tone, and strong but flexible phrasing is emotionally engaging. But though Keilberth and the Cologne orchestra stick with her no matter what she does with the tempo, Mödl is clearly running the show, and Keilberth seems unwilling to impose his views on her. […]”
(James Leonard)

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