Jessye Norman - The Unreleased Masters

Jessye Norman - The Unreleased Masters

485 2984 (Decca Classics, CD, 3 discs)

FIRST RELEASE (27 January 2023)

Playing time: 66'37"/47'53"/50'54" - TT 165'24"
Tracks: 12 + 9 + 14
Booklet pages: 72
℗ 2023 Universal Music Operations Ltd
© 2023 Universal Music Operations Ltd
Main country of recording: Germany
Country of manufacture: European Union
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Jessye Norman - The Unreleased Masters published on 9 June 2023

Jessye Norman, soprano
Thomas Moser, tenor (CD1)
Hanna Schwarz, mezzo-soprano (CD1)
Ian Bostridge, tenor (CD1)
Gewandhausorchester (CD1)
Kurt Masur, conductor (CD1)
Berliner Philharmoniker (CD2)
James Levine, conductor (CD2)
Boston Symphony Orchestra (CD3)
Seiji Ozawa, conductor (CD3)


Richard Wagner (1813-1883):

(excerpts from) Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90 (libretto: Richard Wagner)

1 Prelude

Act I
Scene 1
2 Westwärts schweift der Blick
Scene 2
3 Frisch weht der Wind der Heimat zu
Scene 3
4 Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden!
5 Wie lachend sie mir Lieden singen

Act II Scene 2
6 Isolde! Geliebte! - Tristan! Geliebter!
7 Doch es rächte sich der verscheuchte Tag
8 O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe
9 Einsam wachend in der Nacht
10 Unsre Liebe? Tristans Liebe? Dein' und mein'
11 So starben wir, um ungetrennt

Act III Scene 3
12 Mild und leise wie er lächelt (Isoldes Liebestod)


Richard Strauss (1864-1949):

Vier letzte Lieder, TrV 296 (text: Hermann Hesse (1-3), Joseph von Eichendorf (4))
1 Frühling
2 September
3 Beim Schlafengehen
4 Im Abendrot

Richard Wagner, orchestrated by Felix Mottl:

Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 (text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
5 Der Engel
6 Stehe still!
7 Im Treibhaus
8 Schmerzen
9 Träume


Joseph Haydn (1732-1809):

Scena di Berenice, Hob XXIVa:10 (libretto: Pietro Metastasio)
1 Recitativo: 'Berenice, che fai?'
2 Cavatina: 'Non partir, bell'idol mio' -
3 Recitativo: 'Me infelice!' -
4 Aria: 'Perché, se tanti siete'

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869):

Cléopâtre, H 36 - scene lyrique (text: Pierre-Ange Vieillard)
5 Allegro vivace con impeto - Recitativo: 'C'en est donc fait!' -
6 Lento cantabile: 'Ah! qu'ils sont loin ces jours, tourment de ma mémoire' -
7 Méditation (Largo misterioso): 'Grands Pharaons, nobles Lagides' -
8 Allegro assai agitato: 'Non! ... non, de vos demeures funèbres'
9 Allegro non troppo - Recitativo misurato (Moderato): 'Dieux du Nil, vous m'avez trahie!'

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976):

Phaedra, Op 93 - Cantata (libretto: Robert Lowell after Jean Racine)
10 Prologue: 'In May, in brilliant Athens'
11 Recitative: 'My lost and dazzled eyes saw only night'
12 Presto: 'You monster! You understood me too well'
13 Recitative: 'O Gods of wrath'
14 Adagio: 'My time's too short, your highness'

An unrivaled and towering figure on stage and in the studio, Jessye Norman was unquestionably one of the most exceptional sopranos of all time. Her death in September 2019, which left the world bereft of an unmistakably radiant light, saw legions of fans, including celebrities, civil rights and arts world leaders, sharing the impact she made on their lives, and reinvigorated discussion in articles, blogs, and fan groups around 'unreleased recordings'. Launching 2023 with this headline release at the very top of the year, and with the support of her family and estate, Decca proudly presents a collection of six unreleased Philips recordings of works by Britten, Haydn, Berlioz, Richard Strauss and Wagner.

Recorded 19, 22, 24, 27, 28, 30 March and 1 April 1998 at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (CD1), 23-24 May 1989 (CD2 tracks 1-4) and 4, 6 and 7 November 1992 (CD2 tracks 5-9) in the Großer Saal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany and 10, 12, 21 and 22 February 1994 in Symphony Hall, Boston, USA (CD3).