BBC Music Magazine - - Reviews - Re­viewed by An­thony Pryer

Brahms Songs and Duets

Bril­liant Clas­sics 95916 (2008) 196:29 mins (3 discs) Wide rang­ing se­lec­tion and ser­vice­able per­for­mances. Hart­mut Volle’s voice is por­ten­tous and some­times un­fo­cused, but the folk­song duets with Stéphanie Irányi are good. Record­ing qual­ity is un­even and no trans­la­tions are pro­vided. ★★★

Cléram­bault Pyrame et Tisbé etc

Har­mo­nia Mundi HAF 8901329 (1990) 68:08 mins The re­strained ar­ti­fice of these mytho­log­i­cal tales is not in the modern taste, but the stylish poise of the per­form­ers is per­sua­sive, and Noémi Rime’s voice is a glit­ter­ing gem. ★★★★

Pur­cell El­iz­a­bethan Lute Songs; Birthday Odes

Erato 9029554315 (1972/75) 104:61 mins (2 discs) Pleas­ant 1970s ac­counts, though James Bow­man’s coun­tertenor voice has been over­shad­owed by re­cent, more flex­i­ble, ri­vals, and the perky but se­date speeds of the Birthday Odes now seem cau­tious. ★★★

Wolf Songs

Warner Clas­sics 9029553928 (1953) 65:11 mins This 1953 Salzburg Fes­ti­val live record­ing will de­light some and puzzle oth­ers. The sound is good, Elisabeth Sch­warzkopf is word-sen­si­tive but slightly brit­tle, and Wil­helm Furtwän­gler rather stolid. The au­di­ence loved them. ★★★

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