Re: Janine Micheau
Posted by Martin Walker on October 18, 2018, 9:43 am, in reply to "Re: Janine Micheau"
To pick up your flung glove, sir, I will try to give an impression of the Fleming/Chung recording: it sounds like Elizabeth Schwarzkopf* on steroids, having studied and memorized a recorded reading of the text by Sarah Bernhardt with a background tape accompaniment by Mantovani and his digitally inflated orchestra. Apart from the sense that everything is manufactured - glossied over might be an appropriate photographic parallel - the first of the three pieces for instance, takes an incredible 11 minutes, where even von Stade, her nearest competitor in the glossy stakes, only takes 9:23, as compared with 9:07 in the case of Danco, 8:30 Los Angeles, 8:39 Söderström and 8:36 Micheau, my preferred singer in this, also appropriately accompanied by Fournet (I do not think this is Sacher) and orchestra in a manner varying from languorous to ecstatic to moribund. But Mme. Fleming's antics (with Chung and the engineers assisting, of course) only succeed in losing my attention to the work itself. |
*P.S.I admit that in my youth I was ravished by Schwarzkopf's vocal mannerisms; now I appreciate her early recording of Strauss's 4 Last Songs with Ackermann, but the stereo remake with Szell rather nauseates me, with its micro-managed balance and mixing of Schwarzkopf's over-affected phrases with the orchestra, a purely studio product.