Karl Hudez
Wiener Philharmoniker
Heinrich Hollreiser
Int. Release 07 Apr. 2014
CD Premiere
Super Digital Transfer 24-bit/192 kHz

Track List

George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759)
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Don Giovanni, K. 527

Act 2

Lisa della Casa, Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Gretchen am Spinnrade, Op.2, D.118

Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
4 Lieder, Op. 43

Hugo Wolf (1860 - 1903)



Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Lisa della Casa, Karl Hudez

Total Playing Time: 1:17:14

The crystalline purity of her voice is a blessing . . . [Schubert / "Im Frühling"]: She portrays well the distraught Gretchen . . . "Einerlei" (Strauss) finds her at her silvery best, her tone clear and firm. It soars easily in the third stanza of "Schlechtes Wetter" . . . She gives a lovely performance of "Non mi dir", well phrased and expressed and vocally radiant . . . her voice is consistently in good condition . . . refined [singing] . . . graceful shaping . . . These arias are among della Casa's best recordings.

. . . [Handel / "Cleopatra"]: Della Casa is a perfect match for this repertoire. Hers is a typically German-sounding vocal production in terms of the breath compression, vowel production, slender tone and a rather taut, narrow top . . . [the Handel arias] display her innate, keen understanding of style . . . "Tu la mia stella sei" coasts along on silvery tone and perfectly executed trills, its shifting moods given the same straightforward honesty of approach that pervaded Della Casa's famous Mozart and Strauss portrayals. "V'adoro, pupille" is coolly seductive, while in "Se pietà di me non senti", perhaps Cleopatra's greatest moment, Della Casa casts a spell with emotionally charged threads of tone weaving through the orchestration. While it's anything but cold, points are scored through restraint. The same can be said of "Piangerò la sorte mia", in which Cleopatra's sense of helpless dismay has rarely been suggested with such directness and simplicity . . . [in the "Lieder" section, she] offers a subtly different approach to the style of each composer, along with an abundance of youthful tone and crystal-clear diction. There are too many highlights to mention here, but among them are a gently heartbreaking "Im Frühling", an exalted "Du bist die Ruh" and a shattering "Gretchen am Spinnrade" (Schubert). Della Casa's reading of "Wie Melodien zieht es mir" (Brahms) is grace itself. Extra heft and point are given to the Wolf songs, among which her languid, sensual "Geh', Geliebter, geh' jetzt!" is a particular pleasure. Entirely at home with her beloved Strauss, Della Casa wends her way through his complex vocal lines with suppleness, giving sparkling emphasis to text as well. This set is a joy to hear . . .

Comme on aimerait être le César de Lisa della Casa, Cléopâtre au legato capiteux, à l' inépuisable souffle. Le "Piangero" vous enveloppe dans la caresse de sa ligne, comme une liane . . . Fallait-il vraiment les mettre en avant sur la couverture, et glisser comme des compléments ... Des Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Strauss exemplaires de fraîcheur, de naturel. L'art, chez elle, cache l'art, avec un "Du bist die Ruh'" en apesanteur. ("Diapason d'or")