Kathleen Battle: Edition (15-CD BOX SET)

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Item: 028948425174


Kathleen Battle: Edition (15-CD BOX SET)

Composers: Various
Artists: Kathleen Battle, et al
Conductors: James Levine, et al
Number of Discs: 15
Label: Eloquence Australia
Release Date: June 24, 2023

A limited edition, original-jackets collection showcasing the artistry of the magnificent American soprano Kathleen Battle on the occasion of her 75th birthday in 2023.

Kathleen Battle enraptured opera audiences of the 1980s and 1990s as a lyric soprano combining unsurpassable beauty of tone with a keen musical intelligence, a way with words and a communicative warmth that drew listeners to Strauss and spirituals alike. She had the easy phrasing of a great jazz singer combined with the breath, breadth, and precise projection of a trained voice. James Levine coached her at the Metropolitan Opera, and when he accompanied her at the 1984 Salzburg Festival and Deutsche Grammophon recorded the recital as Battle’s debut solo album, nothing less than a phenomenon was launched. 

Battle had been admired as a gifted singer since the age of eight, and a 1985 article in Time magazine declared that she was “the greatest lyric coloratura soprano in the world.” Her performances at the Met of Susanna, Despina, Pamina, and other lyric roles established her as one of the world’s leading interpreters of the repertoire. 

This Eloquence box set uniquely brings together selected albums she made for Angel along with the DG recitals. They include an imaginatively programmed guitar recital with Christopher Parkening, excerpts from a Messiah led by Sir Andrew Davis in Toronto, and excerpts from her appearances in Levine’s recordings of The Creation by Haydn and the C minor Mass by Mozart, as well as Poulenc’s Gloria and the “Pie Jesu” from Fauré’s Requiem

Two further albums showcase excerpts from more complete albums: one of Handel and Mozart arias, including the celebrated Semele recording with John Nelson, and another of operatic and concert arias, including a staggering “Grossmächtige Prinzessin” from Ariadne and the touching songs from the Ozawa recording of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Featuring a new essay on the soprano and the background to her meteoric career by David Patrick Stearns, the set is an essential acquisition for all lovers of lyric soprano artistry.

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