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Emma Bell sings Bruno Walter, Joseph Marx & Richard Strauss
Emma Bell (soprano) and Andrew West (piano)

Bruno Walter
Tragodie I, II & III
Des Kindes Schiaf
Die Lerche
Waltraut's Lied I & II

Joseph Marx
Hat Dich die Liebe Berurht
Ein Drangen Ist In Meinem Herzen
Und Gestern Hat Er Mir Rosen Gebracht

Richard Strauss
Madchenblumen Op. 22 :Kornblumen; Mohnblumen; Ephey; Wasserrose
Freundliche Vision Op. 48 No. 1
Das Rosenband Op. 36 No. 1
Nachtgang Op. 29 No. 3
Muttertandelei Op. 43 No. 2
Hat Gesagt-Bleibt's Nicht Dabei Op. 36 No. 3
Du Meines Herzens Kronelein Op. 21 No. 2
Traum Durch Die Dammerung Op. 29 No. 1
Schlechtes Wetter Op. 69 No. 5

[59 mins - recorded at Potton Hall April 2004]

Bruno Walter had diminishing time for composing as his conducting career took over, but he was married to a singer and these songs are fine examples of the lieder genre which would grace any recital. Joseph Marx (1882-1964) composed some 120 songs mainly around 1910, including settings of poems in Heyse's Italienische Liederbuch which Wolf omitted; Hat Dich die Liebe Berurht is one of those.

Emma Bell's selection demonstrates that Marx does not deserve the near oblivion which has been his fate. The Strauss selection too, whilst including Traum Durch Die Dammerung and Schlechtes Wetter, has many which will be less familiar.

A wholly commendable new disc of intriguing repertoire, well grouped between the three composers, which has this young British soprano in mellifluous voice, powerful when required. She has a creamy tone, comfortable throughout her wide range, and impeccable diction. She embraces the stillness of Strauss's Freundliche Vision and the fun of his Muttertandelei (Mother-chatter). Andrew West's playing is alert and responsive and perfectly balanced in Tim Oldham's recording. Full texts and parallel translations, printed clearly for easy reading.

A particular pleasure for me has been to see that many of the translations (not to be found in the standard books) are by Emily Ezust, whose indispensable website, one of the glories of the free-access internet, has been cited frequently in my reviews.

One of the best vocal records of the year.

© Peter Grahame Woolf