Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

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Lance
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Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:01 am

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EMI Icon 5-CD set, 08087

Brahms: Rhapsody for Contralto, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 53
Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
R. Strauss.: 4 Lieder
Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op. 37; Dream of Gerontius Op. 38 (excerpt)
Berlioz: Les Nuits d’été, Op. 7
Ravel: Shéhérazade
Chausson: Poème de l’amour et de la mer
Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Rückertlieder, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection” (excerpt: IV)
Handel: Messiah, Italian Cantata No. 1, 13,
Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Mendelssohn: Selected Lieder
Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42
Bach: Cantata No. 82: Ich habe genug, Extracts from Christmas Oratorio and St. John Passion and Handel arias
Works by Dowland, Campion, Purcell, Boyce, Monro & Ame


These EMI "Icon" sets are treasure troves for those truly interested in great music making. I have nearly the entire series, and while some have not found the remastering to be as good as it might be, I have no quibbles with anything I have heard from the series. In fact, some items are among the best remasterings I have heard from several reissues. The price, however, nobody will quibble about. These are extraordinary bargins.

We find Janet Baker in her best voice in these EMI recordings, with exceptional assisting artists, including Daniel Barenboim, Gerald Moore, Geoffrey Parsons, Ambrose Gauntlett, Martin Isepp, Robert Spencer, Douglas Whittaker, Sir John Barbirolli, Raymond Leppard, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Neville Marriner, André Previn, and Sir Simon Rattle. This set offers all the best EMI recordings ever released by Dame Janet Baker. If you have little or nothing of Baker in your collection, this set will fill the bill nicely. Each disc is well over 75 minutes with one coming in at 73 minutes ... the equivalent of ten (10) LPs, making this an exceptional bargain. ♪
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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John F
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by John F » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:44 am

This box doesn't have a single "passenger" in it - everything is golden.
John Francis

Chalkperson
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:32 am

Unfortunately, whilst her talent is unquestionable, I personally do not enjoy her voice...
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Lance
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:34 am

Well, my dear Chalkster, this doesn't surprise me. You never really cease to amaze me, nonetheless, with all these artists you don't enjoy!
Chalkperson wrote:Unfortunately, whilst her talent is unquestionable, I personally do not enjoy her voice...
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Chalkperson
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:21 am

Lance wrote:Well, my dear Chalkster, this doesn't surprise me. You never really cease to amaze me, nonetheless, with all these artists you don't enjoy!
Chalkperson wrote:Unfortunately, whilst her talent is unquestionable, I personally do not enjoy her voice...
I'm a perfectionist, a disease, and because of that there is way more with Singers that I don't like than with Conductors or Pianists...I am not suggesting that they are not highly talented, but for me the voice has to be perfect, but, my kind of perfect, meaning fitting all my preconceptions and expectations ahead of hearing the voice, it's tough not liking all these people because I try for years and years before giving up, I like some of her Handel in English, but, only because nobody else had recorded the roles, her Schubert volume on Hyperion I like, reluctantly listen to her Sea Pictures because there is no other good recording, and Mahler's Second with Rattle was the one I liked for a couple of years, again there was not much else at that time, now there are dozens...but you guys should not worry about me and fill the page with wonderous praise and prose...
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val
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by val » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:24 am

I loved her voice, but sometimes she seems distant and cold. Anyway she was the best Dido I ever heard (Purcell's Dido & Aeneas, conducted by Anthony Lewis), a sublime Diana (Cavalli's La Calisto conducted by Leppard), and among other great moments she recorded an extraordinary version of Händel's Cantata Lucrezia.

I admit that in the Lied there are much better interpreters of Schubert, Schumann, but not in Brahms: her recording with Previn and Aronowitz (opus 91) is still my favorite.

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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:10 pm

Thank you for your explanation Chalkie! I'm sure those of us who love these time-honoured and cherished performing artists—all with obvious good reason, their special art—will continue to get our accolades as we are touched accordingly and we will speak of them disparagingly if their performances so indicate. Nobody is 100% perfection, but that's the greatness of art!
Chalkperson wrote:
Lance wrote:Well, my dear Chalkster, this doesn't surprise me. You never really cease to amaze me, nonetheless, with all these artists you don't enjoy!
Chalkperson wrote:Unfortunately, whilst her talent is unquestionable, I personally do not enjoy her voice...
I'm a perfectionist, a disease, and because of that there is way more with Singers that I don't like than with Conductors or Pianists...I am not suggesting that they are not highly talented, but for me the voice has to be perfect, but, my kind of perfect, meaning fitting all my preconceptions and expectations ahead of hearing the voice, it's tough not liking all these people because I try for years and years before giving up, I like some of her Handel in English, but, only because nobody else had recorded the roles, her Schubert volume on Hyperion I like, reluctantly listen to her Sea Pictures because there is no other good recording, and Mahler's Second with Rattle was the one I liked for a couple of years, again there was not much else at that time, now there are dozens...but you guys should not worry about me and fill the page with wonderous praise and prose...
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:14 pm

I really awakened to Baker's voice when I acquired a two-CD stereo LP set on the German Electrola label showing her in a greenish pants-suit with Gerald Moore at a Hamburg Steinway. Placing the record on the turntable for the first time hit me with such glorious intepretations that I was even more of a Baker fan. No doubt working with someone the likes of Gerald Moore—two great English music scholars—brought added life to the performances. Baker was fortunate to have Moore as a learned partner in this music. He, too, was very fond of Janet Baker's voice - so the collaboration is almost made in Heaven - at least on discs.
val wrote:I loved her voice, but sometimes she seems distant and cold. Anyway she was the best Dido I ever heard (Purcell's Dido & Aeneas, conducted by Anthony Lewis), a sublime Diana (Cavalli's La Calisto conducted by Leppard), and among other great moments she recorded an extraordinary version of Händel's Cantata Lucrezia.

I admit that in the Lied there are much better interpreters of Schubert, Schumann, but not in Brahms: her recording with Previn and Aronowitz (opus 91) is still my favorite.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

CharmNewton
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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:41 pm

Lance wrote:... and we will speak of them disparagingly if their performances so indicate. Nobody is 100% perfection, but that's the greatness of art!
I don't believe there is a need to speak disparagingly of artists because we don't like their performances. Artists work very hard to achieve the level of technical skill and communication they put regularly on display. We can say that we do not like performances without belittling the artist.

John

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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:44 pm

I guess that came out the wrong way, John. What I meant to say is that most of us would speak disapprovingly of a performance if we didn't like it for one reason or another, or it didn't come up to our or the artist's usual standard. "Disparagingly" was used erroneously! Thank you for making the comment and correcting my proper thought!
CharmNewton wrote:
Lance wrote:... and we will speak of them disparagingly if their performances so indicate. Nobody is 100% perfection, but that's the greatness of art!
I don't believe there is a need to speak disparagingly of artists because we don't like their performances. Artists work very hard to achieve the level of technical skill and communication they put regularly on display. We can say that we do not like performances without belittling the artist.

John
Lance G. Hill
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______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Dame Janet Baker's extraordinary 5-CD EMI Icon set!

Post by slofstra » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:23 pm

My most recent BBC Magazine has an interview with Steve Isserlis in which he expresses concern about some of the things he reads on the web about his performances. The thing is that as listeners we can talk about performers as we might talk about flavours of ice cream. (Rum & raisin is my favourite, don't care for Moose Tracks.) So, I hope if Isserlis or any performer ever reads here that he would realize that that is all it is. Some of us are competent to review performers on a technical basis; most listeners are not. Still, we should be able to say what we like. As far as chalkie's preferences, one thing I can say is that when he likes something, he's never steered me wrong.
And, I love Janet Baker's performance of Sea Pictures. I didn't realize there were few recordings of this work. Recently I heard the following on ABC FM, Elgar Sea Pictures - Elizabeth Campbell, s; Adelaide Symphony ,and it was excellent. A little Googling yields the following link and I wonder if anyone has any of Elizabeth Campbell's recordings.

http://www.melbarecordings.com.au/content/view/118/46/

(Sorry to be slightly off track.)

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