The dazzling German soprano Diana Damrau who has won international acclaim for both for the breathtaking agility of her voice releases a new collection of Strauss song. In this collection, recorded in the composer’s hometown, Diana Damrau is joined by the Munich Philharmonic and Christian Thielemann, the leading German conductor of his generation. The release features 16 live recordings of favorites such as ‘Ständchen’, ‘Wiegenlied’, ‘Allerseelen’, ‘Cäcilie’ and ‘Zueignung’ as well as six studio recordedings.
Soprano Diana Damrau, described by The Sunday Times as “the most dazzling star to have emerged from Germany in recent years” was born in Bavaria. The region’s capital, Munich, was the birthplace of Richard Strauss, and in March 2009 a programme of the composer’s songs was presented at the city’s Gasteig Philharmonie, with Damrau accompanied by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under its Chief Conductor, Christian Thielemann.
“Strauss loved female voices,” says Damrau, “and he explores some extreme possibilities in these many-layered songs, each with its different point of view. Sensitivity to the words is vital to telling the story of each song, to capturing the rapid changes of mood and all the colors.”
Strauss’ operatic roles for lyric-coloratura soprano, notably Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Aithra (Die Aegyptische Helena) and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) have played an important role in Damrau’s career. As Opera News wrote when reviewing her last Virgin Classics album, ‘Coloraturas’: “Zerbinetta … is one of Damrau’s calling cards, having served for her stupendous Met debut in 2005. ‘Grossmächtige Prinzessin’ provides every opportunity to dazzle the listener, with stratospheric high notes, staccatos, roulades and trills. Every note and word reveals Damrau’s artistry, the result of constantly questioning and probing into the composer’s intentions; while the soprano has a knack for concealing or highlighting technical difficulties at will, here just enough self-absorbed delight breaks to the surface that we are as captivated by Zerbinetta’s own theatrical skills as by Damrau’s vocal athleticism. Damrau/Zerbinetta even seems to be commanding the orchestra’s responses to her whimsical, moody outbursts. This is a performance of transcendent art.”