A SIMPLE SONG / BIS 2327 / ANNE SOFIE VON OTTER, MEZZO-SOPRANO and BENGT FORSBERG, ORGAN / 2018 / SWEDEN / SONGS BY BERNSTEIN, COPLAND, IVES, MAHLER, STRAUSS, PÅRT, MESSIAEN, POULENC, MARTIN, LISZT, RODGERS
Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter collaborates with Bengt Forsberg playing the Marcussen organ of St. Jacobs Church in Stockolm in an eclectic collection of Lieder by Mahler and Strauss, melodies by Poulenc, Messiaen, Duruflé, Martin and Liszt, and songs by Copland, Ives and selections from the musical theatre stage.
The results are effective to the extent that the selections serve to showcase the still fresh and functioning voice of the 64 year old singer and her facility with languages and styles.
Always a significant song recitalist Von Otter delivers intelligent readings of the Mahler and Strauss selections and later sounds quite comfortable in the French language selections by Messiaen and Poulenc.
The choice of the King of Instruments for accompanying this collection is less felicitous in this music not meant for liturgical use notwithstanding the addition of solo instruments in several of the tracks, and that is not to say that Forsberg does not play other than very well.
The engineering and the accompanying booklet, including translations are both excellent in this new release by the Swedish label BIS
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