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A song recital new to CD from a peerless lyric soprano, coupled with classic recordings of Ravel and Verdi.

In 1971 Andrew Porter wrote that Margaret Price’s voice was among the things that make one ‘glad to be alive’. In the 1960s she had recorded for a small Welsh label a recital of Welsh, German and Italian songs that would become signature items for her over the coming decades. Reissued in 1969 by L’Oiseau-Lyre, the album makes it to CD for the first time in this compilation. In favourites such as Schubert’s Heidenröslein, Verdi’s Ave maria and five Welsh folksongs, Price is on sovereign form, with a gleaming upper register and engagingly fresh phrasing.

Also from the early 70s is a rare foray into contemporary music inspired by her Welsh heritage, with Alun Hoddinott’s setting of a text by Emyr Humphries, Roman Dream. She recorded this for Argo along with a set of Gaelic folksongs by Phyllis Tate; these, too, are transferred to CD for the first time.

More familiar delights are offered on CD2, with Deutsche Grammophon capturing her voice in full and glorious maturity in a 1987 album of Verdi songs and a recording of Ravel’s opulent, oriental song-cycle Shéhérezade, in which she is sensitively partnered by the London Symphony Orchestra under a long-time musical partner, Claudio Abbado; together in 1971 they had recorded the Altenberg-Lieder of Berg which fill out CD1. Thus Price sings in five languages through the course of the compilation, and shows herself a gifted word-painter in each of them: it’s a comprehensive tribute to the art of a soprano esteemed by Sir Georg Solti as ‘a musician’s singer and a conductor’s singer’.

‘The attraction is the voice, warm, with a mezzo quality still evident, beautifully even in texture, nobly full-bodied on high, generous in phrasing.’ Gramophone, April 1976 (L’Oiseau-Lyre recital)

‘The real prize is the haunting Altenberg Lieder, sung to perfection by Margaret Price-and the sound is excellent.’ High Fidelity, December 1988 (Berg)

‘In this recital, as was usual with Price, she sang with tremendous energy, filling each phrase with a great tone and superb coloration. Also as usual, her technique is solid and always there when she needs it, but never used for “flash”. Price simply had too much good taste to be ostentatious.’ Fanfare, Jan/Feb 2013 (Verdi)



CD 1

1 BELLINI Almen se non poss’io*

2 DONIZETTI La Conocchia*

3 VERDI Ave Maria*

4 ROSSINI L’Invito*


5 Du bist die Ruh’, D.774*

6 Heidenröslein, D. 257*

7 Gretchens Bitte, D.564*

8 Die Forelle, D.550*


9 Y bore glas*

10 Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn*

11 Wrth Fynd Efo Deio I Dowyn*

12 Dafydd y Garreg Wen*

13 Y Deryn Pur*

14–16 TATE Three Gaelic Ballads*

17 HODDINOTT Roman Dream, Op. 54*

18–22 BERG Altenberger Lieder

CD 2


1 Il tramonto

2 La seduzione

3 Ad una stella

4 Lo spazzacamino

5 Perduta ho la pace

6 Deh, pietoso, oh Addolorata

7 Chi i bei dì m’adduce ancora

8 La zingara

9 L’esule

10 Non t’accostare all’urna

11 In solitaria stanza

12 Nell’orror di notte oscura

13 Il poveretto

14 Stornello

15 Ave Maria

16–18 RAVEL Shéhérazade

Margaret Price, soprano

James Lockhart, piano (CD1: 1–17)

Geoffrey Parsons, piano (CD2: 1–15)

London Symphony Orchestra / Claudio Abbado (CD1: 18–22, CD2: 16–18)

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