Notes & Reviews:
The 46 songs that make up Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch show the composer at his most captivatingly individual; and history has proven that only singers of the utmost artistry can do them justice. Dame Janet Baker and John Shirley-Quirk are such singers, taking the listener from the depths of pathos through frissons of ecstasy with searching perception. Together with pianist Stuart Bedford, who also devised a new sequence for the songs, the singers performed the set at the 1977 Aldeburgh Festival, where the warmth and ambience of the performance was captured in this BBC stereo recording.
American Record Guide, January/February 2013
Baker and Shirley-Quirk were at the top of their artistry when this was recorded. Neither was as closely associated with these songs as other singers, notably Fischer-Dieskau and Schwarzkopf, but they give a captivating reading. The superb vocal qualities for which each of them is remembered are captured in this fine sounding recording from the BBC archives, released here for the first time.
Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
No typical Italianisches Liederbuch, this. Neither Janet Baker nor John Shirley-Quirk was particularly known for this repertoire - though they've both so convincing that one can't guess why...I was continually excited by new insights at every turn...particularly when Baker sets aside her patrician poise and is seized by the music's inner volatility...Why wasn't this recording released decades ago?
Recording information: Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (06/19/1977).
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Works DetailsWolf, Hugo : Italienisches Liederbuch I
- Performers: Steuart Bedford (Piano); Janet Baker (Mezzo-soprano)
- Running Time: 70 min. 31 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Written: 1891-1896
- Studio/Live: Live