Feature

Renée Fleming

Ren&eacute;e Fleming has a "galvanic command" of Richard Strauss&rsquo; <em>Last Four Songs</em>. The album also includes arias from <em>Ariadne auf Naxos</em> and<em> Die &Auml;gyptische Hel

Renée Fleming
Last Four Songs
(Sony Classical)

***

“What a difference a dozen years can make,” said Joshua Kosman in the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1996, when Renée Fleming first recorded Richard Strauss’ Last Four Songs, her soprano effused the “creamy freshness of youth.” Now, more than 10 years later, her voice matured and her lower register developed, the soprano has a galvanic command of the material. Fleming’s “tone is weightier,” and she knows these songs—as well as the Strauss arias included here—down to her bones. She therefore gives them an “emotional urgency” that’s often lacking in other interpretations. Her resplendent personality suits the “exalted heroines” of operas Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Ägyptische Helena, said Lawson Taitte in The Dallas Morning News. The German language is known to bring out this American artist’s “best dramatic instincts,” and Fleming draws extra emotion from the text, occasionally overenunciating to give it a theatrical quality. Her “openly expressive approach” can be over-the-top, said Geoff Brown in the London Times. But conductor Christian Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic keep everything “sympathetically balanced.” Thielemann shapes phrases and shades textures to help Fleming sound perfectly “at home with the composer she loves most of all.”

Recommended

What we know about the mysterious Barbie movie
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
Briefing

What we know about the mysterious Barbie movie

Patrick Radden Keefe's 6 favorite books about true crime
Patrick Radden Keefe.
Feature

Patrick Radden Keefe's 6 favorite books about true crime

Minions has biggest Fourth of July opening weekend ever
Universal Pictures
minion madness

Minions has biggest Fourth of July opening weekend ever

The daily gossip: July 1, 2022
Sigourney Weaver
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: July 1, 2022

Most Popular

The turning point
Trump.
Picture of William FalkWilliam Falk

The turning point

The soul of a machine
Ones and zeroes.
Picture of William FalkWilliam Falk

The soul of a machine

7 toons about Cassidy Hutchinson's Trump testimony
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about Cassidy Hutchinson's Trump testimony