Janet Baker: A Celebration (21CD BoxSet)
This collection brings together a wide range of recordings by an artist who won equal and rarely matched success in the concert and recital halls as well as in the opera house – not to mention on disc. Dame Janet Baker could confidently traverse the entire territory between the well-thumbed volumes of arie antiche through the inexhaustible repertoires of German lieder, the French mélodie and English song, all of them addressed with extraordinary interpretative completeness.
Of contemporary composers with whom she worked, undoubtedly the most important relationship was with Benjamin Britten who created numerous roles for her. In 1970 she was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). More honours followed – Dame Commander (DBE) in 1976 and member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in 1993. Her command of language was legion. “She was, in all the languages she sang, one of the most thrilling and electrifying of word-singers, one whose command of vowels and consonants most illuminated what word-singing can be and why it matters,” wrote Max Loppert.
This set uniquely includes the complete recital recordings on Philips, Decca, Argo, DG and Hyperion (three albums, including the first in the illustrious Hyperion Schubert Edition which she launched), as well as substantial excerpts from complete oratorio and opera recordings.
CD 1: PURCELL Dido and Aeneas  Anthony Lewis CD 2: ARIE AMOROSE Neville Marriner CAVALLI La Calisto (excerpts) Raymond Leppard RAMEAU Hippolyte et Aricie (excerpts) Anthony Lewis CD 3: HANDEL La Lucrezia; Arias from Ariodante · Atalanta · Hercules · Joshua · Rodelinda · Serse Raymond Leppard CD 4: J.S. BACH St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 (excerpts) Karl Richter Mass in B minor BWV 232 (excerpts) ASMF / Neville Marriner HANDEL Judas Maccabaeus (excerpts) Charles Mackerras CD 5: J.S. BACH Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem BWV 159 Vergnügte Ruh’, beliebte Seelenlust BWV 170 ASMF / Neville Marriner Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben BWV 102 ECO / Benjamin Britten CD 6: VIVALDI Gloria in D RV 589 DURANTE Magnificat a4 in B flat David Willcocks CD 7: HANDEL Ariodante (excerpts) Raymond Leppard MOZART La clemenza di Tito (excerpts); Così fan tutte (excerpts) Colin Davis CD 8: HAYDN Scena di Berenice; Arianna a Naxos MOZART Così fan tutte (excerpts); Abendempfindung; Das Veilchen Raymond Leppard (conductor, fortepiano) CD 9: GLUCK Arias from Alceste · Armide · Iphigénie en Aulide · Iphigénie en Tauride · La Rencontre imprévue · Orfeo ed Euridice · Paride ed Elena Raymond Leppard CD 10: BEETHOVEN Ah perfido!; No, non turbarti; Egmont (excerpts) SCHUBERT Arias from Alfonso und Estrella, Lazarus, Rosamunde; Ständchen (“Zögernd leise”) Raymond Leppard (conductor, piano) CD 11: SCHUBERT Duets Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore CD 12: SCHUBERT Vocal Quartets Elly Ameling, Peter Schreier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore CD 13: SCHUBERT Settings of Schiller & Goethe Graham Johnson CD 14: MAHLER Songs of Youth Geoffrey Parsons CD 15: MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde Bernard Haitink CD 16: BERLIOZ Cléopâtre; Herminie; L’Enfance du Christ (excerpts); Béatrice et Bénédict (excerpt) Colin Davis CD 17: FAURÉ Mélodies, including La Chanson d’Ève Geoffrey Parsons CD 18: RAVEL 3 Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé; Chansons madécasses CHAUSSON Chanson perpétuelle DELAGE 4 Poèmes hindous Melos Ensemble of London / Bernard Keeffe CD 19: HOLST Sāvitri Imogen Holst BRITTEN Phaedra Steuart Bedford BRITTEN The Rape of Lucretia (excerpts); Owen Wingrave (excerpt) Benjamin Britten EGK La Tentation de Saint Antoine Werner Egk CD 20: TIPPETT A Child of our Time Colin Davis CD 21: PURCELL Dido and Aeneas  Steuart Bedford