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Love and Longing / Magdalena Kozena Sings Ravel, Dvorak & Mahler

Audio Samples

>Dvorak, Antonin : Biblical Songs (Biblicke pisne) (10) for voice & orchestra, B. 189 (Op. 99)
>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade
>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
>Mahler, Gustav : Ruckert Lieder (5)

Album Summary

>Dvorak, Antonin : Biblical Songs (Biblicke pisne) (10) for voice & orchestra, B. 189 (Op. 99)
>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade
>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
>Mahler, Gustav : Ruckert Lieder (5)
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Magdalena Kozena's silken mezzo delivers definitive interpretations of this luscious and enchanting orchestral-song repertoire. Magdalena Kozena, Sir Simon rattle, and the Berliner Philharmokiker seduce in Ravel's Sheherazade, stiff and awe in Dvorak's austere Biblische Lieder, and render to the fullest the bittersweet potency of Mahler's intricately orchestrated Ruckert Lieder. Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie, these performances excite with the intense musical understanding shared by this husband and wife musical dream team. This release is destined to rival the popularity and sales of Kozena and Rattle's enthralling Mozart collaboration, which shipped 48,000 units. This is the first in a new series of recording projects reviving the legendary partnership between DG and the Berliner Phiharmoniker.

"Considering how little Magdalena Kozena records these days, this substantial disc of Dvorak, Ravel and Mahler songs with the Berlin Philharmonic is a major event, and shows how dramatically she has changed from a Handelian coloratura to a Mahlerian mezzo. As rich as her voice has become in recent years, her main virtue is her linguistic intelligence. Dvorak’s Biblical Songs aren’t among the composer’s masterpieces and sound overly busy in the orchestrated form in which they appear here. But her conviction with the Czech text sustains the 10-song cycle. No special magic is needed for Mahler’s oft-heard Ruckert Songs. But her depth of comprehension with this music puts her in something close to the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson zone. Often, Kozena has been a singer whose grasp exceeds her reach, and you hear that in the upper reaches of Ravel’s Sheherazade. But with the hyper-alert accompaniment by her husband, Simon Rattle, this is one of the more notable recent recordings of this piece. The disc’s sound has the customary Berlin Philharmonic intensity - almost to the point of claustrophobia." -Philly.com

Gramophone Magazine
Her ease and clarity of language are as impressive as her instinctive feel for the modes of expression voiced by such diverse composers as Dvorak, Ravel and Mahler...Kozena encapsulates and conveys the spectrum of moods with a wealth of understanding and apt vocal inflection...There is never any doubt...that Kozena has these songs in her heart and has the wisdom and finesse with which to convey their very essence.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Similar comments apply to this fine singer's performance of the Mahler songs based on Friedrich Rückert's poems. She seems to be in emotional overdrive much of the time; still, her singing is wonderful. Her tempos are sensible and in the mainstream. Ravel's three songs, obviously influenced by Debussy, are settings of poems by Tristan Klingsor (a pseudonym for Arthur Justin Leciere). They are full of exotic sounds (and texts) evoking Asian and Arabian settings. The first poem, titled 'Asia', is by far the longest; it takes over ten minutes. The other two songs, 'La Flute Enchantée' and 'L'Indifferent' are much shorter and their music seems more oriental and mysterious.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2012
Throughout the Ruckert-Lieder the diction is excellent, dramatic emphases are absolutely in place and there is, notably in 'Um Mitternacht', some superb legato singing...Dvorak's Biblical Songs are almost entirely excellent...Kozena projects the sincerity of these settings magnificently.

Sunday Times, 23rd September 2012
Kozena revels in [Dvorak's] inexhaustible stream of melody, while Simon Rattle's Berliners relish his subtle orchestration...though Kozena's French and German are not as idiomatic as her Czech, she is luminous in expressing the exoticism of Tristan Klingsor's ShThTrazade poems, and Rnckert's celebration of the natural world.

Financial Times, 27th October 2012
Singing in her native Czech, Kozenß transmits a soulfulness that she rarely summons in other repertoire. It's a question of being "inside the idiom", and it feeds her performance of Dvorßk's Biblical Songs...The disc is worth buying for these 10 tracks alone, but Kozenß also captures the exotic idiom of Ravel's ShThTrazade.

New York Times, 23rd November 2012
Dvorak's rarely recorded "Biblical Songs" are impassioned prayers and voluptuous Psalm settings that show off Ms. Kozena's burnished mezzo. The orchestra sounds splendid in Ravel's "ShThTrazade"; Mahler's "Rnckert Lieder" call forth a more austere and concentrated mode of expression.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Philharmonie, Berlin (01/2012).



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Works Details

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Biblical Songs (Biblické písne) (10) for voice & orchestra, B. 189 (Op. 99)
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 01/04/1895-01/08/1895.
  • Running Time: 25 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal

>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Notes: Composition written: 1903.
  • Running Time: 17 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1903

>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 08/1902

>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 1 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 06/14/1901

>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 5 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 2 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 07/1901

>Mahler, Gustav : Rückert Lieder (5)
  • Performer: Magdalena Kozená (Voice)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 6 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 08/16/1901