This final volume in an exploration of the art of Irmgard Seefried encompasses selections (arias and duets) from her oratorio recordings (Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Creation and Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass) as well as the first issue on CD of her recording of Bach’s ‘Wedding’ Cantata. Seefried’s tonal purity, grace of phrase and care for a true, ‘bound’ legato made her a sought-after Bach singer. With her fresh, smiling tone and innate vivacity, Seefried was a natural for Haydn’s Creation, a work in which joy is of the essence. The disc concludes with the rapt ‘Gloria in excelsis’ from Gounod’s Messe solennelle de Ste Cécile.
“This is a sumptuously produced recording of the St. Matthew Passion […] Seefried’s fresh and clear soprano is invaluable in her arias” Gramophone (Bach: St. Matthew Passion)
“a grand performance […] I cannot too highly recommend this splendid issue” Gramophone (Haydn)
“downright exquisite” Fanfare (Gounod)