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Elly Ameling

The Philips Recitals (29CD)

In a career that spanned 43 years, Elly Ameling recorded over 150 LPs and CDs, many of them recognised with an Edison Award, the Grand Prix du Disque and the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis. She chose, from early on, to place art song at the heart of her repertoire. It is the full range of her mastery in this repertoire, from Monteverdi to Mahler, from Schubert to Cole Porter, which is celebrated in the present collection of her Philips and Decca recordings, issued to mark her 90th birthday.

 

Purity and beauty of voice, lively characterisation and the art that conceals art were the hallmarks of Ameling as a singer. She loved singing as a child, and studying languages as a teenager, and her singing radiated an inner warmth and intelligence throughout her career. That career began in earnest soon after she won a Dutch singing competition in 1956, when a recording was made of the ‘Laudate Dominum’ from Mozart’s Dominican Vespers, K. 321, issued by Philips on a 45rpm record and quickly forgotten. Only now has it been transferred to CD, from a rare copy of the disc in the collection of the Dutch writer René Seghers. In his new booklet essay for this box, Seghers explains the story behind the recording, and analyses the elusive art of Ameling, informed by his own interviews with her. She recorded with pleasure, and brought an imagined audience into the studio with her, and her communicative gifts transferred readily to the microphone. Philips captured her in Baroque cantatas by Vivaldi and Handel, and in the central German Lied repertoire from Haydn, Mozart and Schubert (eight glorious albums, including his little-known theatre music) to Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch and Mörike-Lieder. Her perfect French is on display in mélodies by Debussy, Poulenc and Satie, and her linguistic virtuosity comes to the fore in several immaculately curated albums of mixed repertoire from Dowland to Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Digitally recorded in 1982, Ameling’s ‘An die Musik’ Schubert album had the distinction of being the first Lieder recital to appear on CD, and still deserves the accolades heaped upon it then. Though they were made in the CD era, and received with just as much lavish praise as their predecessors, Ameling’s later Philips albums have become collectors’ items, and several of them receive their first reissue in this box. There are even two albums of jazz standards, which Ameling sings in inimitable style.

CD 1 VIVALDI Motets Vittorio Negri CD 2 HANDEL Cantatas Raymond Leppard CD 3 Vivaldi · Handel · Mozart · Gluck Kurt Masur CDs 4–5 HAYDN Complete original songs with solo piano Jörg Demus CD 6 MOZART Opera and Concert Arias Edo de Waart CD 7 MOZART Exsultate, jubilate; Arias Raymond Leppard CDs 8–9 MOZART Lieder; Notturni Dalton Baldwin Netherlands Wind Ensemble CD 10 Schubert on Stage Claes-Håkon Ahnsjö Edo de Waart CDs 11–15 SCHUBERT Lieder Karl Engel Dalton Baldwin Rudolf Jansen CD 16 SCHUBERT Vocal Trios & Quartets Dame Janet Baker; Peter Schreier; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Gerald Moore CD 17 SCHUMANN Frauenliebe und -leben SCHUBERT Lieder Dalton Baldwin CD 18 SCHUMANN Liederkreis, Op. 39; Lieder-Album für die Jugend Jörg Demus CD 19 BRAHMS Lieder Dalton Baldwin CD 20 German Romantic Songs Dalton Baldwin CD 21 WOLF Italienisches Liederbuch 2 Mörike-Lieder Gérard Souzay Dalton Baldwin CD 22 WOLF Mörike-Lieder Dalton Baldwin CD 23 RAVEL Shéherazade DUPARC 2 Mélodies DEBUSSY La Damoiselle élue Edo de Waart CD 24 Soirée Française Rudolf Jansen CD 25 Auf Flügeln des Gesanges Rudolf Jansen CD 26 Serenata Rudolf Jansen CD 27 Sentimental Me Louis van Dijk John Clayton CD 28 After Hours Louis van Dijk CD 29 Mozart · Thomas · Verdi Schubert · Grieg · Mahler Halina Łukomska · Edna Graham Hein Jordans · Kurt Masur · Edo de Waart · Bernard Haitink