Reviews

 

“Starting with Richard Rodgers’ If I Loved You from Carousel (1945) and Bernstein’s I Feel Pretty from West Side Story, Damrau demonstrated her refined grasp of the Broadway idiom, embracing the melodic lines and witty lyrics with thorough understanding of the medium. The playful joy of I Feel Pretty was conveyed with admirable vocal and stage presence, whereas If I Loved You was clad in apt melancholy.

With Weill’s Foolish Heart from One Touch of Venus (1943) and Harold Arlen’s Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz (1939), both heard on the second half of the evening, things clicked seamlessly, leading to memorable takes on both classics. The musical communication between the Damrau and Petrenko was ever charming, to a delightful effect.

Yet, it was Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music (1972-73) that brought the house down, with its subtle solo line, accompanied by the soft hue of the strings, gently colored by winds and brass.”

Adventures in Music

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“Een liedrecital in een grote zaal: het is vrijwel ondoenlijk. Diana Damrau en Antonio Pappano maakten er woensdagavond in het Concertgebouw toch wat moois van. Met de Vier letzte Lieder van Strauss kregen ze het kuchende en reutelende publiek zelfs even helemaal stil.”

Opera Magazine

“Vervolgens beklommen Damrau en Pappano de trap van betovering in een nachtelijke Berg en een nazomerende Strauss. Elk lied was een trede omhoog. Er daalde een stille roes neer over de voordien nog driftig kuchende zaal. De pianoklanken, waarmee Pappano de slotregel van ‘Im Abendrot’ omlijstte, waren van bovenaardse schoonheid.”

NRC

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“Joining the orchestra was Diana Damrau, lending her highly elegant soprano to the works. The first song, “Spring,” opened with a rather somber introduction from the strings, reaching a peak during Damrau’s soulful, sustained tones. […]

The second song, September,” featured a tranquil, repeated theme from the strings, over which Damrau displayed a number of enchanting vocal roulades as she outlined the languid, observational phrases of the text, such as “Summer trembles at the thought that the end is near.” This number made a lovely showcase of Damrau’s vocal delicacy, able to open a phrase with a delicate crescendo, while often ending them with soft holds as if she were embracing the syllables to the fullest. […]

The legato phrases were wonderfully handled by Damrau as the piece slowly transitioned to a darker, more nightly, atmosphere, with the return of the lark trills punctuating it ever so softly towards a peaceful conclusion.”

Operawire

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Warner Classics’s recording of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, featuring Diana Damrau and Jonas Kaufmann with Helmut Deutsch at the piano, has been shortlisted for a 2019 Gramophone Classical Music Awards: Solo Vocal.

The Awards ceremony takes place in London at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on October 16. Individual tickets and tables for the ceremony are available to purchase here.

Presented with Apple Music, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s Polska Music programme and Medici TV, this year’s Awards Ceremony will be streamed live from the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms by Medici TV at 6.30pm (UK time).

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“Mit Diana Damrau (als Ophélie) konnte dieser Cast nicht toppbarer besetzt sein; ihre halbstündige Wahnsinnsarie aus dem Vierten Akt – mit wirrwitzigen Anleihen aus einer orientalisch anmutenden Klangwelt – gestaltete sich selbstverständlich zum zentralisierten Highlight dieser konzertanten Aufführung, die uns ein Werk, das in Berlin vielleicht noch nie zuvor erklungen war, sehr nahe brachte.”

der Freitag

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“Den „Flieder“ sang sie zwar ebenfalls in sich gekehrt, aber fokussierter als den Mendelssohn. „Dämmerung“ aus den „Zwölf Liedern“ ist eine verhaltene Gefühlsstudie voll Sehnsucht, in der die Harfe die Höhen füllt, die die Stimme eben verlassen hat. Als spräche sie aus, was die Stimme nicht sagen kann. Damrau hatte in de Maistre einen selbstbewussten Partner, der seine Arrangements als gleichwertig neben dem Gesang versteht. Beide ergänzten sich wunderbar, vor allem in den skurrileren Poulenc-Liedern, in denen man nie weiß, ob es um Nonsense geht oder ob da doch etwas unheimlich Ungreifbares in der Musik liegt.”

Wa.de (Dortmund)

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“The part of Ophélie is difficult, and it takes an important light soprano to face all the difficulties of her mad scene in Act IV. Diana Damrau gave an outstanding performance and was enthusiastically cheered by the audience.”

Seen and Heard International

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“Und besser als Diana Damrau und Mariss Jansons mit dem BR-Symphonieorchester im Herkulessaal kann man sie nicht darbringen.

Diana Damrau ist dafür die ideale Sängerin. Sie widmet den Texten große Aufmerksamkeit, erzählt anmutig – und singt zugleich mit zwingender, dynamisch lebendiger Präsenz. Im dritten Gesang, “Beim Schlafengehn”, schließt dies durchaus kräftigere Lautstärkenentwicklungen ein. Bei “Im Abendrot” aber nimmt sich Damrau enorm zurück und lässt ihre Stimme wie einen Teil des orchestralen Gesamtklangs wirken. Das ist bezaubernd.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Diana Damrau has performed practically every operatic role Strauss wrote for coloratura soprano, from Zerbinetta and Sophie to Die ägyptische Helena’s Aithra and Die schweigsame Frau’s Aminta. Damrau’s voice has since gained in amplitude and strength, allowing her to successfully take on heavier operatic roles. This was fully in evidence from the opening lines of Frühling, displaying a satisfying rich lower register that cut through Strauss’ turbulent orchestration with ease. Damrau’s newfound lyrical strength was also in full display in September, allowing her to spin Strauss’ seemingly endless lines with expansive power. Nevertheless, her voice maintains the silvery sheen and ease of movement that she is famous for – the highlight was Beim Schlafengehen, in which she responded to the heavenly violin solo with an effortlessly gleaming sound as the vocal line soared higher and higher.”

Bachtrack

“Damrau supports her tone beautifully, allowing Jansons to stretch out phrase endings, knowing Damrau will always have something in reserve.”

The Arts Desk

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“Ms. Damrau was an extraordinary Violetta, singing with big, plush yet focused sound, taking enormous but well-calculated dramatic liberties during Violetta’s moments of soulful reflection and wrenching despair over her illness.”

New York Times

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