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Ben Heppner Sings Richard Stra

Toronto Symphony Orch. , Strauss R. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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1. Guntram: 'Ewig einsam - Wenn du einst die Gauen'
2. Feuersnot: Love Scene
3. Die Frau ohne Schatten: Act II Scene Change And 'Falke, Falke, du wiedergefundener'
4. Intermezzo: No. 10b Traumerei am Kamin
5. Die Liebe der Danae: Orchestral Introduction To Act III And 'In Syriens Glut...'
6. Daphne: 'Was erblicke ich?'
7. Die schweigsame Frau: Potpourri
8. Der Rosenkavalier: 'Di rigori armato il seno'
9. Intermezzo: No. 10d Frohlicher Beschluss

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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb June 14 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a special example of Ben Heppner's superb tenor voice in the demanding tenor solos by Richard Strauss. I have his performances in Lohengrin (my favourite) and Die Meistersinger to compare but no other German- style tenor is his equal in my opinion. I believe that Heppner (a Canadian from Prince George BC) must have received a lot of his early musical experience with the demanding Mennonite choirs - and I have a sample of him singing with a Mennonite choir from the Abbotsford area of BC. While I am not a devotee of German opera, Heppner makes a persuasive case for his particiopation
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heppner at his best in ideal repertoire July 12 2009
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Ben Heppner was in finest voice when he recorded this all Strauss disc in November 1994. Of late, he has unfortunately tended to crack too often in live performances but here we can hear him under ideal conditions in music which suits his voice ideally, in warm, clear sound with a sympathetic conductor and a more than capable orchestra. If you are already familiar with this voice, you will need little urging from me to acquire this disc; if you know his other Strauss recordings (especially the wonderful, but severely cut "Die Frau ohne Schatten" and the excellent "Ariadne auf Naxos", both conducted by Sinopoli - see my reviews), this will form a welcome supplement to them. Good as the orchestral interludes are, I would have welcomed more of Heppner's singing, but as it is, this disc constitutes a lovely sampler introduction to the sonorous subtleties of Strauss's operas. So many sweet, richly scored melodies, whose sinuous twists take on Expressionist overtones and build in waves to great cacophonous climaxes - I love it! Andrew Davis and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra revel in the Love Scene orchestral interlude of "Feuersnot" such that one hardly minds not hearing Heppner's tenor. The introduction to the opening track from "Guntram" sounds like an immature lift from "Lohengrin" without the mystery and poise of that miraculous music and there are distinct echoes of the magical closing scene from "Capriccio" towards the end, but the aria, like the opera as a whole, would outstay its welcome were it not so winningly sung by Heppner. The other arias will perhaps be more familiar to seasoned opera-lovers but few will know the lovely "Träumerei und Kamin" and "Frölicher Beschluss" from "Intermezzo", the opera itself being somewhat unapproachable to the general listener and very much a collector's item. The most familiar item is obviously the tenor aria from "Der Rosenkavalier" which Heppner sings with easy, long-breathed power - though perhaps without the hint of campness and irony this music demands. No other tenor around today has quite his gifts and this disc forms a fitting tribute to a superb singer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heppner's glorious tenor in operatic Strauss Jan. 9 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I can't think of another recital of tenor arias from the oepras of Richard Strauss, but this one with Canadian forces is magnificent. Heppner was in best voice in 1994 appearing with the Toronto Sym. under its then-conductor Andrew Davis. Neither orchestra nor conductor are first-rate, but it hardly matters. Heppner soars over all challenges, in taxing arias ranging from extremely early Strauss--his first opera, the highly Wagnerian Guntram--to the late Daphne and Die Liebe der Danae.

Much of this music is obscure; most listeners will only recognize the famous Italin tenor's aria form the first act of Rosenkavalier. But Heppner makes it all worthwhile thanks to his unsurpased vocalism. Davis helps the pace by inserting four orchestral selections between the five long arias (the Guntram selection is 12 min., the one from Frau ohne Schatten 11 min.) For anyone who hasn't heard Heppner as the Emperor, this last is a great treat. The recorded sound is a bit too bright but not so much that listening is unpleasant. Overall, this unique album is one to be deeply grateful for.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Heppner sings Richard Strauss July 5 2012
By drkillinut - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Once in a lifetime one finds the perfect Richard Strauss tenor. Ben Heppner is that tenor. Ben makes going over the top sound easy. All others sound strained and like they will break at any moment. He is the definition of a "Heldentenor". I also highly recommend all of his Wagner heros.
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