Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Diana Damrau Sings Songs by Franz Liszt (short documentary)




Today (Tuesday July 31) marks the passing of Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher Franz Liszt (b. Oct. 22 1811 - July 31 1886)  The epitome of Romanticism, Liszt's tone poems and piano works were ahead of their time. His piano transcriptions are phenomenally lovely, and fiendishly difficult technically speaking. Also of great importance are the substantial collections of songs, many have found their way to recital stages and recordings.  To remember Liszt, here is a documentary from Virgin Classics of German soprano Diana Damrau singing and recording Liszt songs. The pianist I believe is Helmut Deutsch. I was so looking forward to hearing Damrau as the three heroines in Hoffmann this summer in Munich, but alas she withdrew due to pregnancy. Replacing her were three quite wonderful sopranos, but I still would have loved to have heard the same singer as Olympia, Antonia and Giulietta. Here is Damrau singing and talking about Liszt songs. Unfortunately there is no English subtitles, but the ever-expressive Damrau (almost) makes subtitles unnecessary.  Lest you think her waving of arms and hands are merely for melodramatic effect - or for the benefit of the camera, singers often do that in a recording studio because their hand gestures help them achieve certain vocal and interpretive effects. 

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