Claudio Abbado was undeniably the supreme Mahler conductor of our time. With his Lucerne Festival Orchestra he has set new standards in the field of classical music, especially in the interpretation of works by Gustav Mahler. The core of the orchestra is provided by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, itself an élite body of players. Soloists like violinist Kolja Blacher, clarinettist Sabine Meyer, oboist Albrecht Mayer, violist Wolfram Christ, cellist Natalia Gutman, the Hagen Quartet and members of the Alban Berg Quartet to name just a few, make the Lucerne Festival Orchestra a star-studded ensemble.
Brahms & Schumann: Lieder sees Dame Ann Murray, one of the great vocal artists of the past decades, return to the recording studio to perform a personal selection of Lieder. Brahms & Schumann: Lieder, Ann’s first solo album in over a decade, will be her final Lieder recording and a fitting way to draw her long and distinguished recording career to a close.
Christiane Karg feels close to Richard Strauss, and not simply because they both grew up amid Bavarian landscape. Together with Mozart, the great late Romanticist now plays an ever greater part in her repertoire: she was recently acclaimed in both Antwerp and Ghent as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. Since Strauss has always figured in her lieder recitals, this CD of Strauss lieder comes as no surprise, especially in view of the forthcoming anniversary year, marking the composer's 150th birthday. Indeed, anyone who has followed Christiane Karg's career will see this new release as a logical consequence. You only have to listen to the timbres in her voice and the skill with which she lends them an artistic and natural touch, and you will hardly be able to avoid comparisons with the great voices of her Fach.