Strauss: Vier letzte Lieder compilation - Grümmer, Te Kanawa, Arroyo


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I found myself with three performances of the Four Last Songs that I didn't know what to do with until it dawned on me that you can never really have enough performances of this great work.  So I have created this CD featuring three different sopranos- Elisabeth Grümmer, Martina Arroyo and Kiri Te Kanawa.  Elisabeth Grümmer was nearing the end of her career when she sang this performance and it is clear that she has to really dig into her bag of technical tricks to navigate her way through some of the high lying passages of "Frühling" (she does so admirably I must say.)  As the cycle progresses she seems more comfortable and gives very deep felt performances.  "Im Abendrot" is particularly moving and she uses the darker tones that her voice acquired to good effect.  I have to say that Martina Arroyo's accounting was my favorite.  Strauss is not a composer that one associates with this artist and hearing this recording it seems a shame that she didn't sing Chrysothemis and Salome.  She probably would have been very well suited to those roles.  Her voice has a wonderfully plummy quality and she sings the stratospheric lines as if she were singing bel canto.  The last soprano is Kiri Te Kanawa from a recording from 1972.  Her voice is incredibly fresh although she may lack the gravitas that is required.  She uses her youthful sound to excellent in "September" especially in the melismatic passages.

OD 10559-1