The first of four 2-CD “Flagstad Recitals” features Flagstad, Kirsten in Brahms and Schubert on CD1 as well as CD premieres of songs by Schumann (including her previously unpublished “Zum Schluss”), Strauss, Wolf and Sinding on CD2. Her great power and control placed her among those with the natural capacity for success in the ‘big’ songs with its special thrill, but there is no want of gentleness in the quieter ones. The American critic, Virgil Thomson, probably spoke for the whole audience when he wrote on Flagstad’s return to the United States in 1947: ‘Never in this writer’s concert-going lifetime has there been available any other vocal artistry of such sumptuous natural acoustics, such perfect technical control and such sound musicianship’.
"Throughout, one is stirred by the sheer beauty of the sound." Gramophone
“deeply felt … wonderfully radiant tone … very touching” [Brahms] “the operatic drama of Der Erlkönig is as memorable as the gently ravishing cantilena of Am Grabe Anselmos” The Penguin Guide to Bargain Compact Discs
"…worth having for the Wolf group alone." Gramophone