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Lorraine - J.S. Bach: Mein Herze Schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199; Brandenburg Concerto no 4 / Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, soprano

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 199 "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut" BWV 199
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"I remember when Lorraine sang through the opening recitative of Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut BWV 199 during the first rehearsal for the performance with Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The musicians sat in silence after the movement ended. At first, the musicians wiped tears from their eyes while some clapped timidly. Then followed uproarious applause from the orchestra and the few lucky guests. That first run-through was good enough for the final performance. Lorraine made it seem as if she were singing this music directly to you and to you alone." --Attiyeh, producer

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
Its title, front and back, is "LORRAINE", emblazoned on all available surfaces in huge letters, and blessed by a charming photograph. Only on the album's back, in very tiny letters, is the presence of one JS Bach acknowledged. The program begins with the Brandenburg 4, in a virtuosic performance. When all that is said and done, we have here a really treasurable piece of music-making. She was in radiant voice, delivering eloquence with absorbing smoothness. Her long-time collaborators, members of the Emmanuel Music series of Bach performances under Craig Smith, gave her caring and respectful support. So then, for all its eccentricities, this release is a valuable one, preserving one of the most powerful and unforgettable renditions of this profoundly humane music. It is to be preferred definitely to the Naxos predecessor, and admirers of both Bach and the singer will want to track it down.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (09/2003/11/2011).


Moving performance serves as a tribute to the late soprano
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson passed away from cancer in 2006. She was, by all accounts, an incredibly gifted artist with a clear, beautiful and unmannered timbre and whose every performance contained great emotion and a sense of personal connection to the music. Lorraine was also one of America's great singers; a home grown performer who specialized in art songs and who was equally comfortable with the music of the Baroque as she was with contemporary music (her husband was composer Peter Lieberson) It is also said that she was a perfectionist and if she noticed anything at all in an orchestra's rehearsal performance or that of her own it would truly rattle her and she would carry one but with an introspection; so deep was her need to do well. This recording of the Bach cantata "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut" (My heart swims in blood) is easily one of the most beautiful I have heard. Bach's text is taken in large part from the letters of Paul and the mood covers a whole range from near despair at the inevitable to the elation of feeling forgiven; redeemed. Just knowing that this would be one of Lieberson's very last recordings and performance makes the listening incredibly poignant. The LA Chamber Orchestra, under Jeffrey Kahane, is one the nation's treasures; one of the greatest chamber orchestras we have and the very important oboe obligato is performed with beauty and dignity by Allan Vogel. This work is reason to buy this disc and experience the rare gift of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. According to booklet notes, Bach's original key for the cantata is C-minor but was later transposed to D-minor. Additionally, the Weimar ensemble of 1714 played to a low A of 412 vps or so. Kahane and Lieberson choose to perform the cantata in contemporary intonation but transposed to B-minor (so that the resultant sound is pretty close to the original "flat" C-minor and there is a weight to the performance) The "bonus" in the wonderful disc is the Brandenberg #4, (in the "Italian style" of fast-slow-fast) performed joyously and with great authenticity. Special kudos to Bob Attiyeh and to Yarlung Records for another superbly engineered recording.
Submitted on 04/23/13 by Dan Coombs 
Poor Lorraine
Passionate devotees of the art of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson might be interested in this disc; it’s hard to imagine who else it was intended for. Though offered at full price, it contains less than 45 minutes of music, of which the late mezzo only sings about 28 (a single track with no cue points), the rest being filled with a rather driven performance of the fourth Brandenburg Concerto. Yes, Lieberson sings well, but this solo cantata is one of a pair already available on CD. (In fairness, I need to note that the other recording also runs less than an hour.) For a real tribute to a fine singer, someone should issue her rendition of Elgar’s “The Music Makers” from the BBC Proms! Sound is not bad; while the performances are apparently live, there’s no applause or audience noise (but I can barely hear the harpsichord, either). Copious and adulatory notes, which the singer may deserve, but not the disc.
Submitted on 04/28/13 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049
  • Performers: Margaret Batjer (Violin); Brook Schoenwald (Flute); David Shostac (Flute)
  • Ensemble: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 14 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 199 "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut" BWV 199
  • Performers: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; Roland Kato (Viola); Allan Vogel (Oboe d'amore)
  • Conductor: Jeffrey Kahane
  • Running Time: 27 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 08/12/1714