WAGNER Wesendonck-Lieder Brueggergosman 4778773

. . . this disc of Wagner extracts is a reminder of what a powerful musician he subsequently became . . . magnificent, from the refined, very pervy performance of the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, to the gossipy counterpoint of the Meistersinger Overture, via an astonishingly sensual Prelude to Act One of Lohengrin. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the greatest in the world -- the playing is perfection.

This is squeaky-clean Wagner, beautifully played. Lucid textures abound, Franz Welser-Möst keeping the music on the move with Classical propriety . . . the reading of the scores is expert and the preparation meticulous, the Cleveland Orchestra fully responsive to Welser-Möst's penchant for clarity, interplay and discrimination . . . The Overture to "Rienzi" benefits from Welser-Möst's approach -- no indulgence in the 'prayer' music and an avoidance of rowdiness elsewhere, brass and percussion integrated, inner detail therefore not compromised . . . overall, an expressive and joyous performance . . . an eloquence that is compelling, Welser-Möst charting climaxes unerringly, sucking the listener in to the line and expectancy of the music . . . Brueggergosman impresses with her operatic delivery, some exquisite nuances, and vivid delivery of the words. 'Im Treibhaus' is especially gripping . . . a recommendable release.

This CD is an excellent introduction to Wagner¿s music . . . all sung with shining passion by the Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman.

A live concert recording of bleeding chunks of Wagner, notable for the beautiful playing of the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted with crisp authority by Franz Welser-Möst. The overture to Rienzi is a particular delight. Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman gives a sensitively inflected performance of the Wesendonck Lieder.

As electrifying on disc as she was in person, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman is the ideal medium, wielding a forceful, radiant voice equally capable of nuance and intimacy.

. . . the sound delivers the orchestra's sumptuous colours with all the resplendent richness that present-day techniques allow.

Measha Brueggergosman is a major talent, and her combination of beauty of tone, innate musicality, and full resonance with the text results in a memorable Wesendonck-Lieder . . . Brueggergosman captures the regretful mood of the Tristan study, "Im Triebhaus", to perfection. She emphasizes the crucial line "Unser Heimat ist nicht hier" (our home is not here) with just the right amount of underline; her true pianissimo toward the song's close is rapt and mesmeric. In "Schmerzen," Brueggergosman's voice unshackles itself and the full extent of her golden tone is audible.

. . . the disc offers a snapshot of some current trends in Wagner performance style, primarily a step back from the vaunting heroism of yesteryear. The strictly orchestral passages on this disc, all familiar preludes or interludes, emphasize tight rhythms and crisp articulation, both beautifully exemplified by the Cleveland musicians. Legato lines unfold with precision and subtlety in the "Rienzi" and "Tristan" instrumental selections. Under-the-hood details have unusual clarity and elegance in the prelude to "Die Meistersinger", and even the "Ride of the Valkyries" gets a boost from the conductor's preference for buoyancy over bombast. His work with Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman in the five-part "Wesendonck-Lieder" also shows how well his detailed approach can support and enhance a singer . . . [Brueggergosman] is a fascinating artist . . . Her husky timbre is malleable in lyrical passages, yielding some bright overtones, and its live vibrato can be exciting under pressure . . . She excels at the slower, gentle songs, "Im Treibhaus" and "Träume," thanks to her warm legato, the conductor's flexible beat and especially the carefully restrained orchestra volume in the extended low phrases where her open timbre and subtle coloring can be enjoyed . . . Brueggergosman is marvelously expressive in German . . . Her tireless inflections -- covering and coloring the tone, relaxing or tensing the line, emphasizing an accent or a syllable -- suggest a natural and forceful theatrical flair.

She excels at the slower, gentle songs, "Im Treibhaus" and "Träume," thanks to her warm legato . . . Brueggergosman is marvelously expressive in German and, to say the least, alert to mood. Her tireless inflections -- covering and coloring the tone, relaxing or tensing the line, emphasizing an accent or a syllable -- suggest a natural and forceful theatrical flair.

Brueggergosman effectively modulates the scale of her singing to the moment-to-moment emotional temperature of each song and manifests an acute sensitivity to [the texts] . . . Brueggergosman's voice has a rich, platinum-like character with a tight, rapid vibrato, and the lower part of her range is especially seductive.

Brueggergosman, die gefeierte kanadische Sopranistin mit dem wunderbar dunklen Timbre, entführt uns sofort in eine andere Sehnsuchtswelt. Als sei sie eines der vielen Instrumente -- so taucht die Stimme von Brueggergosman aus dem Orchesterklang auf. Sie legt sich zart auf das Wogenbett, das der Dirigent ihr bereitet. Die Sopranistin hält sich vom Klangvolumen her zurück, um nicht zu sehr hervorzustechen, und dennoch bleibt ihre Stimme makellos klar und verständlich. Mal schwebt sie nur so über dem Orchester, mal ergreift sie behutsam und mit ein wenig Nachdruck die melodische Führung. Brueggergosman hat mit ihrer sensiblen und feinfühligen Interpretation von Wagners Wesendonck-Liedern der CD den letzten Schliff gegeben. Dank ihres sehr individuellen Timbres und ihrer bis in alle Nuancen sehr ausdrucksstarken Stimme verdient diese Platte zu Recht den Stempel "empfehlenswert".

. . . ihr sensueller Gesang hat in Verbindung mit dem raffiniert-sensiblen Orchesterklang eine insgesamt beeindruckende Wirkung.

Der phänomenale Cleveland-Sound zeichnet sich durch vornehme, fast mochte man sagen: durch adelige Schlankheit aus . . .