Four-time Grammy winning soprano Renée Fleming presents her first full-length Lieder album for almost two decades, released on Decca Classics on 14 June. The release date coincides with her London musical theatre debut, performing the role of Margaret Johnson in the Tony-winning musical The Light in the Piazza at Royal Festival Hall.
The new album, Lieder, features songs by Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, each of whom bring Romantic poetry to life through exquisite word-setting and sublime melody. Fleming is joined by Christian Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic in a breathtaking performance of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder.For songs of Brahms, including the beloved Brahms’ Lullaby, she is partnered by her long-standing artistic collaborator Hartmut Höll on piano. Fleming and Höll also perform Schumann’s Frauenliebe und-leben, recorded after extensive Europe-wide touring, and described as a “youthful, buoyant, uplifting outpouring of love” (Financial Times).
Beginning in June, Fleming stars in the London premiere of the rapturous Tony-winning musical The Light in the Piazza at the Royal Festival Hall for four weeks. She appeared this spring opposite actor Ben Whishaw in the opening performances of The Shed, a new arts space in New York City, in Norma Jeane Baker of Troy. The spoken and sung dramatic work explores the lives of two iconic beauties, Helen of Troy and Marilyn Monroe, performed live to a musical score and sound effects comprised entirely of digital samples of Ms. Fleming’s voice. Of her performance, The New Yorker wrote “Fleming’s soprano—another exemplar of legendary beauty—soars with the force of an uncontainable soul.”
On her upcoming release and London West End debut, Renéesaid: “The German lied is, for me, both the foundation and the pinnacle of song literature. I am especially excited to have been able to collaborate with some of the greatest interpreters in the world for this repertoire. My performances and recordings with Christian Thielemann have been among the most artistically rewarding experiences in my life, and to sing the Mahler songs with him and the Münchner Philharmoniker was heaven. It was also a joy to record Brahms and Schumann with Hartmut Höll, who is world-famous as a master of the German lied. It’s a happy coincidence that the release of the album will find me in Decca’s home base, where I will be performing in the London premiere of The Light in the Piazza at Royal Festival Hall.”
Known for her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence, Renée Fleming appears on the world’s leading opera stages and in concert halls, and has been an exclusive Decca artist for over twenty years. Winner of the U.S. National Medal of Arts and Female Artist of the Year at the 2018 Classic Brit Awards, the “people’s diva” has been sought after for numerous distinguished occasions, from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
The album will be available to pre-order from 10 May and is released internationally on 14 June.