eMusic Review 0
When Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died, the classical music world mourned as if Earth's mother spirit had perished. People wrote to their newspapers, telling stories of weeping at their cubicles while they listened on headphones to her arias. Normally hardened, crusty critics composed panegyrics, writing with uncharacteristic awe of her ability to stop time with her voice: a cliché that loses it force when wantonly applied, but one that nonetheless holds true for the unadorned, elemental purity of her singing. Simply put, she made you feel it — whatever heartbreak, longing, despair, wonder, joy or delirium might be lurking in the music, she summoned it onstage, in real time, often to overwhelming results. She herself would sometimes leave the stage in tears.
This recording is drawn from two different live performances; one from 1992, when she was still just Lorraine Hunt (she married composer Peter Lieberson in 1999). Conductor Craig Smith, who this release also commemorates, takes the Bach cantata "Kommt, ihr angefochtnen Sünder" at such a leisurely pace that it might produce gripes, and they would be justified if it didn't give Lorraine even more time to draw unearthly beauty from it. Think of it as an analogue… read more »