Richard Strauss Vier letzte Lieder Jessye Norman 4758507

By the time the CD burst on to the market and infused new vigour into the recording industry in the 1980s, Jessye Norman was more than ready . . . The voice had darkened, grown full beyond measure. Then came an astonishing series of recordings and performances, of Berlioz, Strauss, Wagner, Mahler and Schoenberg. Her 1983 traversal of Strauss's "Four Last Songs" won just about every accolade that mattered, including a Gramophone Award. The inexhaustible richness of the voice, the transfiguring tenderness, the boundless resignation, would change the way the world understood these songs. And even then, Norman was just beginning to dominate the stage, and the age.

It is hard to believe that any human body could contain enough breath to hold the phrases for as long as she does. It is surely one of the finest performances in recording history. I have heard her in concert and the power of her voice pinned me to my seat while the beauty of the songs had me weeping.

. . . wonderful . . . those lines, that power . . . [I] have never quite had the same experience.

. . . üppig gefüllt . . . [die Philips-Aufnahmen überzeugen] durch ihre hervorragende Klangqualität.