Kathleen Battle Edition

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Kathleen Battle Edition

Limited edition 15CD set

A Limited Edition, Original Jackets collection showcasing the artistry of the magnificent American soprano, Kathleen Battle.

Kathleen Battle enraptured opera audiences of the 1980s and 1990s. Here was 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 has 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 DG recorded the recital as Battle's debut solo album, nothing less than a phenomenon was launched. She 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 in the great Mozart operas, conducted by Levine, established her as one of the world's leading interpreters of this repertoire. Recorded near the end of her DG association, Battle and Levine recorded arias from those roles for an album which became a radiantly beautiful souvenir of an era when they formed an artistic team as celebrated and accomplished in their way as Schwarzkopf and Karajan or Nilsson and Solti.

However, Battle had already recorded for several labels, and this Eloquence box uniquely brings together selected albums she made for Angel (the US branch of EMI - those which have repatriated to Universal Music Group) with the DG recitals. They include an imaginatively programmed guitar recital with Christopher Parkening and excerpts from a Messiah led by Sir Andrew Davis in Toronto.

These Handel arias feature on a new compilation within the album, 'Kathleen Battle sings Sacred Music', which also features excerpts from her appearances in Levine's DG recordings of The Creation by Haydn and the C minor Mass by Mozart, as well as Poulenc's Gloria and the 'Pie Jesu' from Faure'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 'Grossmachtige Prinzessin' (Ariadne, with Levine) 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 will be an essential acquisition for all lovers of lyric soprano artistry.

In addition to Kathleen Battle's complete DG recitals, this set includes two of her Angel recitals which have repatriated to Universal Music Group, and three discs of excerpts themed by Sacred Music, Handel and Mozart arias, and Opera and Concert arias.


Eloquence 15CD Set