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Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson (Mezzo-Soprano)

Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

General Discussions

Death of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 4, 2006):
Fwd from opera-L.

Greatly sad news; alas expected.
==================
Michener's article last year: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040105fa_fact
was probably written as a prepared obituary, and it is sadly appropriate today as the death of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is reported from metastatic liver cancer.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 5, 2006):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Thanks for spreading the news, and providing the link, which I hadn't seen. It is an excellent summary of the Emmanuel Music community, and especially of what a genuinely decent human being Lorraine is. I use the present tense, because music unites us, and she lives on. As does Bach.

By coincidence, Eric Bergerund and I exchanged a few comments off-list referencing my EM enthusiasm. I
realized I had not yet heard the BWV 82/BWV 199 CD. A couple hours ago, I checked the availability, decided
to order it without holding out for bottom dollar (part habit, part need, some of you know), and then checked
eMail to find Yoel's post.

Best I can do for you, Lorraine. Love you madly.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 5, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I realized I had not yet heard the BWV 82/BWV 199 CD. A couple hours ago, I checked the availability, decided to order it without holding out for bottom dollar >
Funny thing with this cantata BWV 82 (a); I realized earlier (as I do every so often) that I have two bass recordings, one soprano and one tenor recording, and the only alto recordings I have are BOTH by countertenors. That is strange.

The other day for various reasons I listened to "Ebarme dich" from about 20 recordings; mostly I listened (whether from complete or aria recordings) to women, some glorious and some not so glorious and then I listened to three or four countertenors from complete recordings, all the usual suspects and I realized that, while I may enjoy the whole Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the countertenors (or not), I do really aesthetically derive a far deeper "thing" from a woman.

I find in Bach nothing authentic about countertenors who are not boys and thus a substitute just as women are.

Recently someone from Germany asked on operasell for the unavailable Scherchen MP (BWV 244). I offered it to him unless someone in Europe also would. In the event some others did.

During a conversation I mentioned to him that Hugh Cuenod was alive and well at 104 years of age. My correspondent was very happy and said that that gives him hope that man can live forever.

Well here we have longevity and brevievity (no such word but why not?).

May Hugh Cuenod live to the biblical 120.

 

OFF TOPIC: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson: Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs

Peter Bright wrote (January 10, 2007):
I know that there are a number of subscribers who enjoy Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's performances of Bach and Handel (among others), and were saddened by her death last summer. I have just noticed the release of a new recording on Nonesuch: Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs. For this album, Peter set five of Pablo Neruda's love sonnets (1960) for his wife, and in their new form they are undoubtedly suffused with an intimate awareness both of Lorraine's vocal gifts and her failing health (it has a 2006 release date according to the All Music site). Details and a review can be found here: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=43:146466

and a short biography of the singer is on the Bach Cantatas web site: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Hunt-Lorraine.htm

I was wondering whether anyone in the group has heard this - and whether they have comments...

Many thanks,

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (January 10, 2007):
Peter Bright wrote:
< I know that there are a number of subscribers who enjoy Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's performances of Bach and Handel (among others), and were saddened by her death last summer. I have just noticed the release of a new recording on Nonesuch: Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs. For this album, Peter set five of Pablo Neruda's love sonnets (1960) for his wife, and in their new form they are undoubtedly suffused with an intimate awareness both of Lorraine's vocal gifts and her failing health (it has a 2006 release date according to the All Music site). >
Here is what I wrote to another list about 10 days ago:

So and so wrote:
< Enough music from the CD was played to cause a run on Amazon to order the recording which at this very moment is NUMBER FOUR among all music CD's. Wow...do you think the honcho's at NPR will observe this phenomenon and conclude there actually IS a market for classical music on the radio? >

Thank you for this interesting observation. I very much wonder whether the conclusion would be the only reasonable one.

I love the lamented LHL as much as anyone. Her great Charpentier Medee and her amazing Didon which I was privileged to attend the opening night of are unforgettable. I doubt there is a major market for the magical recording of Charpentier's great opera. On the other hand I have heard both the Neruda Songs in a LHL live performances and yesterday on the radio heard some Harbison songs recorded by LHL. I personally don't find myself moved by either Peter Lieberson's music or Harbison's. I am dreadfully sorry to hear of Mr. Lieberson's ailment. I believe that the reason for the run on the CD at Amazon is that there is currently a cult of the beloved and lamented LHL as there was also of Jan DeGaetani and earlier of Kathleen Ferrier. There is something that moves persons who may otherwise not be terribly interested in Classical Music, something related to the illness and the dying so young in the midst of life, the death of so talented a person as this beloved singer. I missed that
part of Weekend Edition bc. there was too large a segment about a accidental president and I simply shut the radio,

Best, Yoel
----------
Now I will add here that since that post Lloyd Schwar(t)z (not sure which spelling he uses) on another NPR program was drooling over three "new" LHL releases: Rilke Songs, Neruda Songs, and Harbison's Songs whose title I forget.
My conclusion is that, if you like that kind of music, of course get them.

I myself regret that she never commercially recorded Didon and I treasure her Medee above all. I have not experienced the DVDs of Giulio Cesare (I believe) or of Theodora. In her various Theodora recordings she has done earlier Theodora (soprano) and later Irene (mezzo).

In sum, Neruda songs and so forth are not great music as I define it.

You needn't share my perspective however obviously.

Peter Bright wrote (January 11, 2007):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Thanks very much for your thoughts. Another member also sent me some comments off-list. I'm too intrigued to let this recording go and will be ordering it - and on your recommendation I will also order the Medee under Christie.

Stephen Benson wrote (January 11, 2007):
Peter Bright wrote:
< I'm too intrigued to let this recording go and will be ordering it >
I had the same reaction. Retail price seems to be in the range of $12 to $15 for the 31 minute recording, but it's available from iTunes for download at $4.95. I've listened half a dozen times in the past two days, and am struck by the obvious Mahlerian overtones and similarities to the situation surrounding the Ferrier recording of Das Lied von der Erde. Above and beyond those connections, I find it to be an enchanting recording of beautiful music. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's affective singing is sensitively accompanied by James Levine.

 

Lorraine Hunt: Short Biography | General Discussions | Craig Smith & Emmanuel Music w/ Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson (Mezzo-soprano) - Cantatas BWV 82 & BWV 199 | Article: Sellars Staging [Uri Golomb]

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Last update: ýJanuary 15, 2007 ý09:42:50