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I reviewed this recording on Amazon on its appearance on the Calliope label as enthusiastically as Goran Forsling and "Gramophone" was equally bowled over - yet all of us agree with you that Fassbander provides the best real competition and that version remains my favourite of all despite my liking for this one. Your visual projection of the singer "swaying" and "grimacing" strikes me as gratuitous and to be honest rather insulting to her; I certainly hear no such strain. If you want actually to see really offensive histrionics during performance watch Bostridge...
I hear her diction as clipped and emphatic when it needs to be and rarely "slurred". I am mystified by your response and wonder if it is rather a response to the quality of her voice, which can indeed be a little hooty. I am particularly struck by the sensitivity of the pianist's contribution, too.
I again part company with you over Patzak who whose interpretation sounds to me absurdly mannered and expressionistic - as well as being vocally unsteady.
In the end, we hear what we hear, but I know I'll keep this one at the top of my list.
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