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POP MUSIC | Recordings

From Baritones to the 'Brazilian Bach'

Rumbling opera singers, a hotshot teen violinist and some radiant rarities are among the highlights.

May 30, 1999|CHRIS PASLES


Anne Sofie von Otter, soprano; Bengt Forsberg, piano; others

Deutsche Grammophon


People may obey calendars, but the spirit ignores them. Thus, the rich, romantic longings of the 1800s didn't abruptly cease at the turn of the century, but persisted in the works not only of Richard Strauss, but also in those of Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Wonderfully documented here are heartbreaking melodies--whether sung in the limpid soprano of Von Otter or incorporated in fascinating chamber works played by pianist Forsberg and four string players. (They are named and their pictures are on the cover, but the producers don't bother to point out who is who.)

Yes, "Mariettas Lied," composed when Korngold was only 19, is in a ravishing world of its own. But "Mond, so gehst du wieder auf" and "Was Du mir bist?" also beguile, especially as they were embodied in the adagio of the Quintet, Opus 15 or the Lied movement of the Suite, Opus 23, respectively.

The two-disc set includes premiere recordings of several songs.


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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