DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Songs By Richard Strauss Are Not For Wallflowers

By Norman Lebrecht on June 23, 2017

English soprano Louise Alder (Photo via www.louisealder.co.uk)
English soprano Louise Alder (Photo via www.louisealder.co.uk)

Richard Strauss: Through Life and Love (Orchid)

★★★★ (out of five)

Of the two UK finalists in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World last weekend, many felt the English soprano Louise Alder stood a better chance than the Scottish mezzo Catriona Morison. Alder commanded the stage with unfeigned confidence, a breeziness that shines through this, her well-timed debut recording.

The repertoire is bold, as well. Songs by Richard Strauss are not for wallflowers. Everything has to be just-so, shimmering on the surface and hinting at Freudian urges below. Alder, who made an opera debut as Glyndebourne’s stand-in Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier in 2014, sounds undaunted by anything Strauss can throw at her.

Accompanied a little cautiously by Joseph Middleton, she groups the songs in a kind of ages-of-woman cycle, going from youth to yearning, passion to loss. If brightness comes naturally to her voice, the darker colours of Sehnsucht and Allerseelen reveal a range of expression and a genuine virtuosity that promises great developments ahead. Above all, her voice is — unlike so many singers at the start of their journey — instantly likeable. It has a winning quality that makes us want her to succeed. An hour of Strauss can leave one feeling bloated. Ms Alder leaves you wanting more. At Cardiff, she won the audience vote. Ms Morison won the judges’ verdict. There cannot have been much in it. We will hear lots more of both.

Richard Strauss: Through Life and Love (Orchid) is available on July 21, 2017, at Amazon.ca.

Hear more from Norman Lebrecht on Slipped Disc.

#LUDWIGVAN

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | We May Never See The Likes Of Krzysztof Penderecki Again

By Norman Lebrecht on March 19, 2021

Krzysztof Penderecki's Credo is infused with a sense of liberation, a release from having to please anyone below the angels.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

LEBRECHT LISTENS | This New Album Might Change Your Mind About Lieder

By Norman Lebrecht on March 26, 2021

Baritone Matthias Goerne, with a voice like brushed velvet and diction clearer than iced vodka, and pianist Seong-Jin Cho offer up a superb collection of Lieder.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Where Has Hindemith Gone?

By Norman Lebrecht on April 9, 2021

It’s a bit of a mystery why Hindemith has vanished so completely, with chamber music so extremely well-made, intelligent, and civilized.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.