For those who have had the ecstatic pleasure of hearing Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in person this CD of two luminously performed Bach Cantatas will be no surprise, and will even be a welcome reprise. Surely one of the most sensitive, vocally gifted, insightful singers before the public today, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is destined to become known throughout the world as the megastar she truly is. This may be despite her apparent selflessness of interpreting music as complex and subtle as Bach's cantatas # 82 and #199. Most singers who approach the Baroque repertoire emphasize pyrotechnic execution of Bach's seemingly brutal writing. Hunt Lieberson finds the poetry and the essence of the words and wraps them effortlessly with the music into extended moments of communication. In both of these cantatas the solo oboe is treated less like an incidental obbligato than as a voice, equal to the vocal line and to the orchestra in the singer's approach. Everything is in its place, the lush beauty of her mezzo soprano timbre is nothing short of stunning, and her musicianship qualifies her as a true 'Musician's Musician.' In some circles that connotation might suggest that this is a technically fine but 'dry' performer: Hunt Lieberson is without a doubt one of the most warmly compassionate singers of our time. This CD deserves not only the Grammy, but it also deserves a place in the collection of every music lover - Baroque and beyond. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is a Phenomenon.
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