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My Heart Alone/Dein ist mein ganzes Herz CD 2007

Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (My Heart Alone)

Operetta CD


Conductor Alfred Eschwé
Angelika Kirchschlager
Simon Keenlyside
Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstlerorchester
Released as Dien ist mein ganzes Herz in Germany, 17 August 2007
Released as My Heart Alone in UK, 9 June 2008
Number of discs: 1
Label: Sony Classical
ASIN: B0015X6QH2 (B000TCNJSO in Germany)

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Click here to view an interview with Angelika Kirchschlager & Simon Keenlyside in Opernglas July/August 2007. Translated by Ursula Turecek

Track listing

Click here for music samplers from JPC.de

The booklet has no text and no translation, so we have provided them: see below for the tracks, and click each song title for the text and an English translation.

01 Duet: Angelika Kirchschlager & Simon Keenlyside
Kálmán: Die Csárdásfürstin, “Weißt du es noch
The Gypsy Princess, “Do you still remember

02 Angelika Kirchschlager
Lehár: Giuditta: “Meine Lippen, die küssen so heiß” (“my lips, they kiss that hot”) 04:36

03 Duet: Angelika Kirchschlager & Simon Keenlyside
Kálmán: Die Csardasfürstin, “Tanzen möcht’ ich” (The Gypsy Princess: “I’d like to dance”) 03:32

04 Simon Keenlyside
Lehár: Die lustige Witwe, “ Da geh’ ich zu Maxim” (The Merry Widow: “You’ll find me at Maxims”) 02:36

05 Angelika Kirchschlager
Lehár: Die lustige Witwe, “Es lebt eine Vilja” – Vilja-Lied
(The Merry Widow: “There lived a Vilja”) 05:25

06 Duet Angelika Kirchschlager & Simon Keenlyside
Lehár: Die lustige Witwe, “Lippen schweigen, ‘s flüstern Geigen” (The Merry Widow: “Lips remain silent, violins are whispering”) 04:01

07 Simon Keenlyside
Millöcker: Gasparone, “Dunkelrote Rosen” (Gasparone: “Dark-red roses”) 02:23

08 Angelika Kirchschlager
Strauß: Die Fledermaus, “Ich lade gern mir Gäste ein” (The Bat: “I like to invite guests”)02:56

09 Duet Angelika Kirchschlager & Simon Keenlyside
von Suppè:  Boccacio, “Mia bella Fiorentina” (Boccacio, “My beautiful Florentine”) 05:25

10 Duet Angelika Kirchschlager & Simon Keenlyside
von Suppè:  Boccacio, “Hab’ ich nur deine Liebe” (Boccacio, “If I have your love”) 04:03

11 Simon Keenlyside
Kálmán: Das Veilchen von Montmartre, “Heut’ Nacht hab’ ich geträumt” (The Violet of Montmartre, “This night have I dreamt”) 05:14

12 Angelika Kirchschlager
Stolz: Der Favorit, “Du sollst der Kaiser meiner Seele sein” (The Favourite: “You should be the Emperor of my soul”) 04:29

13 Simon Keenlyside

Kàlmàn: Die Zirkusprinzessin, “Wieder hinaus ins strahlende Licht” (The Circus Princess, “Again outside in the radiating light” 04:37

14 Angelika Kirchschlager
Strauß: Die Tänzerin Fanny Elssler, “Draußen in Sievering blüht schon der Flieder” (The Dancer Fanny Elssler, “Abroad at Sievering the lilac already blooms”) 04:29

15 Duet: Angelika Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside
Léhár: Zigeunerliebe, “Nur die Liebe macht uns jung” (Gypsy Love, “Only love makes us young”) 05:29

16 Simon Keenlyside
Lehár:  Das Land des Lächelns, “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” (The Land of Smiles, “All my heart is yours” or “You are my heart’s delight”) 03:25


From the Oberösterrische Nachrichten, 2 August 2007

Translated by Ursula Turecek

“Operetta is fiendishly difficult”

A Salzburgian in Salzburg. Today, at 7.30 p.m. Angelika Kirchschlager will appear at the Mozarteum with works by Alban Berg, Richard Wagner and Robert Schumann (Camerata under Ingo Metzmacher). On Tuesday she presented the operetta CD “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” together with her British colleague Simon Keenlyside in Vienna.

It’s the Wesendonk-Lieder she has on the programme by Wagner today. “For me”, she comments this evening with a laugh, “the only possibility to sing Richard Wagner once in my life. I will not get very much further with this.”

She is particularly happy with the job of a visiting professor [is there a special term for this job in English? No] that links her to Mozarteum for two years now: “A new chapter in my life. I am very glad to work with students. It is some sort of constant workshop, eight days per term. I make this in four four-day courses. I ask the students why they want to stand on a stage – and I explain to them how to do it. I tell them to show their eyes and when and why it is good to smile.”

Operetta experiences

Top-class operetta albums were a rarity during the last years. Angelika Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside had wished for something like this independently, and then they had to tackle the choice of repertoire: “Which is not so easy when it is a matter of a mezzo soprano and a baritone.”

The recent Kammersängerin’s favourite piece on this CD is “Meine Lippen, die küssen so heiß” from Franz Lehár’s “Giuditta”. She does have stage experience with operetta, took part in “Opernball” and sang Orlofsky in “Fledermaus” and Valencienne in the “Merry Widow” at the State Opera. Partner Keenlyside appeared at the beginning of his career in “Fledermaus” and “Widow”, but left it afterwards: “I always remember something that Yehudi Menuhin said 20 years ago. He was talking about the violin. There are violin virtuosos, he explained, who play wonderfully but each performance was the same. With this he was referring to Jascha Heifetz. Others were spontaneous and he would rather tend towards those. He was referring to Igor Oistrach. I also am for spontaneous things and that’s why I would never dare to play Peretta? in Vienna for example. For there is much prose and my German is too bad to be able to be really spontaneous.”

Operetta, Angelika Kirchschlager joins in, is something fiendishly difficult: “Sadly there are so few amazingly staged theatre productions nowadays, that carry you away. And so few actors who really can articulate the texts and come across as human beings. Not even in the theatre of the spoken word!”

Directors with respect

Much, she says, is “staged to death nowadays instead of leaving it in peace so that the poetry may shed its perfume. Important messages often come quietly but suddenly someone is standing on stage going Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta loudly. That goes for opera. In operetta on the other hand you have so many gags but a piece must not become choked with them. We need directors who know what respect is. But of those there are only few.”

Simon Keenlyside knows all of this, but: “I am very open, try to help the directors and think that you can also learn from bad productions.”

The recording sessions for “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” (Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstlerorchester under Alfred Eschwé) took a week, they were working for up to six hours a day and the baritone thanks his “angel” Kirchschlager: “She has an eleven year old son at home and always went to him right after the recording sessions. Thus she never tempted me to go for a nice dinner and drink wine. For this would have been bad for my voice.”

Together at the State Opera

In the upcoming season the two “old friends” will be present at the State Opera again, in fact in new productions: Angelika Kirchschlager with “Capriccio”, Simon Keenlyside with “Eugene Onegin”.

Press release for the UK launch of My Heart Alone

My Heart Alone is the new recording from Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager and British baritone Simon Keenlyside, and proves that Operetta is still alive. Both singers are highly respected in the fields of opera and Lieder recital, and have appeared several times as a partnership, notably in the title roles in Pelléas et Mélisande at the Salzburg Easter Festival and at Covent Garden, where they have been feted as the dream couple of the opera world. This is the duo’s first Operetta recording, following in the great tradition of famous opera singers like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Fritz Wunderlich and Hermann Prey, whose careers blossomed beyond the opera stage. The choice of repertoire for this programme ranges widely from the golden age to the silver age, and includes gems from Die Fledermaus and Die Tänzerin Fanny Elssler by the father of Viennese operetta and waltz king Johann Strauss, as well as titles from popular works such as Franz von Suppé’s masterwork Boccaccio and Franz Léhar’s Merry Widow. The duet Nur die Liebe macht uns jung from Franz Léhar’s Zigeunerliebe however, is an absolute rarity.

Photo Gallery

What the critics say

“Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” has been chosen by Manuel Brug of Die Welt newspaper as one of his CDs of the year

Translated by Janet Woodall

For sentimental [CD of the year]

Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (Sony BMG) A Salzburg Mezzo-lass and an English baritone proceed in the long reviled path through promised operetta land. Smartly, crisply and sweetly.

Geoff Brown, The Times, 4 July 2008

Rating: Three out of five stars

You wouldn’t immediately tag the baritone Simon Keenlyside as the British singer most likely to don black tie and waltz into operetta. This is the baritone, remember, who took on Prospero in Thomas Adès’s opera The Tempest, who sings with muscular expression, not the vocal equivalent of the soft-shoe shuffle.

Yet here he is, partnered with another K, Angelika Kirchschlager, in My Heart Alone, a lusciously recorded twirl through familiar European operetta territory, with duets and arias from six composers, Lehár and Emmerich Kálmán predominating.

How does he manage? I hate to summon the word “adequately”, but when he’s pressed against Kirchschlager’s lilting vocal pearls, let alone rivals in history such as Hermann Prey or the golden tenor of Richard Tauber, you must admit, with regret, that he does come up a little short. Though he shapes and shades lines with refinement, there always seems something lacking: genuine warmth, a sparkle, the sense of being at home.

Keenlyside sings operetta like a student, learning the ropes, too quick to pitch volume and intensity at a level fit for Verdi, but not the sweetmeats of Vienna. In The Merry Widow do we want a Danilo who bellows? Not really. Still, bless the fellow for trying, and for willingly embracing repertoire that people too easily mock.

Best to concentrate on the other K, who is frequently marvellous. As an Austrian, the operetta lilt lives in Kirchschlager’s blood; she’s a natural at pausing and easing the speeds, and she sings with that indefinable glow. In duets such as Mia bella Florentina, one of two selections from Suppé’s superb Boccaccio, she outshines Keenlyside rather brutally. From her solo numbers, it’s hard to pick which is best: her tender Viljalied, perhaps, or the twinkling Meine Lippen from Lehár’s Giudetta.

Accompanying, Alfred Eschwé and the Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich sweep along with a light touch fleetingly compromised by some overinsistent plucked bass lines. As for the selection, it’s safe and wise, though Kálmán sounds kitsch after Suppé, and I missed Leo Fall, a neglected “Silver Age” master whose melodies can turn iron constitutions to jelly.

And a brickbat to Sony Classical for being so cavalier with the documentation. There’s no setting up of each selection, no song texts. These things matter, even in operetta.

Christopher Cook, BBC Music Magazine, August 2008

Rating (Performance): Three out of five stars * * *

Rating (Sound): Four out of five stars ****

Bravo for the repertoire. Here among the usual operetta suspects Lehar, Kalman and Johann Strauss – are less familiar treats. Judging by the duet ‘Hab’ Ich nur deine Liebe’, Suppe’s Boccaccio is more than the run of Theater an der Wien stuff. And there’s a deliciously upholstered melody at the centre of’Dunkelrote Rosen’ from Millocker’s Gasparone.

Sadly, the cheers are more muted when it comes to the artists on this recording. No one would doubt that Angelika Kirschlager and Simon Keenlyside are vocal thoroughbreds, so there’s stylish and sensitive singing here with Keenlyside in particularly good voice. But Viennese operetta is about more than good voices.

It’s about filling a song with the character or characters who sing it, and neither Keenlyside nor Kirschlager seem particularly good at this. So Kirschlager’s Hanna Glawari isn’t so very different from her Prince Orloff. And though her ‘Vilja-lied’ is nicely done, this is no Pontevedrian exile telling her fellow countrymen a heartfelt folk story from the homeland. And where’s the naughty boy in Keenlyside’s Count Danilo on his way to Maxims?

Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 11 July 2008

Anyone visiting Germany last autumn could not help but notice Simon Keenlyside and Angelika Kirchschlager staring down at them from billboards on well nigh every street. “Operetta’s new dream couple”, as they were called, were embroiled in a duet tour, with a programme of numbers by Lehár, Kalman, Johann Strauss and so on, for which this dispiriting disc, belatedly released in the UK, was the tie-in. Keenlyside comes out of it reasonably well, as the music keeps him away from the damaged hunk repertoire in which he has been overexposed of late. Kirchschlager, however, sings with little of her usual passion and is worryingly unconvincing. Some of the material is transposed to fit vocal ranges for which it was never intended, and Alfred Eschwé’s sentimental conducting robs much of the music of its wisdom, its charm, and, most fatally, its wit.

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 6 July 2008

Rating: Four out of five stars

The presentation of this lovely duo is lamentable: no texts and translations, and a booklet note full of clichés. Even the subtitle — Favourite Operetta Arias and Duets — is questionable. The only really popular items here are the title track, Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (better known as You are my heart’s delight) from Lehar’s The Land of Smiles, three selections from The Merry Widow and Orlofsky’s couplets from Die Fledermaus. Keenlyside is almost like a tenor, and perfectly at home in the idiom. Kirchschlager is arch in Orlofsky’s solo, but her Vilja-Lied (The Merry Widow) is a winner and the track from Johann Strauss’s The Dancer Fanny Elssler is an enchanting rarity.

August 2008

Gramophone talks to Angelika Kirchschlager

The mezzo on her dream project, an operetta album

As an Austrian, has operetta always been there in your life?

Yes, not a big part, but the Vienna Volksoper was always doing operetta when I was growing up and my grandmother would sing operetta at the piano. Somehow it’s always there in the background. I had the idea to record some of this repertoire at least five years ago and had started to put together some numbers that would suit my voice. Then Simon Keenlyside came to Sony and he had also wanted to do this. So the record company had two artists who each wanted to record operetta, and the match was made; which meant that we could sing duets as well as arias.

Was it a match made in heaven?

Well, the great thing was that Simon knows so much about the subject. He had so many old recordings by singers whom I hadn’t even heard of and such a knowledge of the songs. He was so enthusiastic. In any case we have been friends for a long time, which is such a help in this music. We were able to play off all the wit and romance with each other.

Is it hard today to get into the mindset of these period pieces?

It never feels like diving into a society completely isolated from our own, because there is a traditional balance in the dramaturgy. There are the aristocratic figures, of course, but also the working class. This was entertainment meant not only for the rich.

It is, though, pure escapism.

Absolutely. When I work on operetta I always feel that I’m in a completely happy world. The characters have their problems, but they are all solved in the end. Some people read political issues into some of these works, but it is all treated in a light and humorous way. Singing or listening to it, you do feel happy, in a feel-good bubble!

Is it fun to sing, technically?

It’s hard work! Much is very high and you need a lot of concentration. But it must sound easy.

Andrew Lamb, Gramophone, August 2008

Tempting Titbits as two fine singers take us on a whirl round Vienna.

Keenlyside and Kirschlager have enchanted audiences in performances of German Lieder together for some years, and it was perhaps a natural progression for them to join up for a programme of Viennese operetta sweetmeats. The result is a tempting trailer for their live performances of the repertory this year.

The combination of baritone and mezzo-soprano may not be an obvious one, but the inclusion of Orlofsky’s aria from Fledermaus ensures at least one example of the authentic Kirschlager mezzo. Elsewhere each singer lightens his or her tone to great effect. If Keenlyside shows slight strain in the big tenor numbers, that’s no more than Tauber did; and if Kirschlager prefers to duck the high note at the end of the “Vilja-Lied” then that too is no great drawback.

What impresses is not only the natural brilliance of the singers’ vocal production but also the way in which pure display is subordinated to expression of true feeling. The range of vocal dynamics is employed to telling effect. There may be more overtly sexual interpretations of numbers from Die lustige Witwe; but the beauty of Keenlyside’s singing of the Kálmán tango “Heut Nacht hab’ ich von dir getraumt” and Krischlager’s of Stolz’s “Du sollst der Kaiser meiner Selle sein” has surely never been bettered. The inclusion of less hackneyed items furthers the cause, and, aided by the contribution of the orchestra and conductor steeped in this repertory, the grace and charm of the whole compilation shine through to rare effect.

One of “The best of the new releases”

Richard Wigmore, Telegraph, 2 August 2008


Billed as “operetta’s dream couple” on their 2007 German tour, the two Ks offer a programme of solos and duets ranging from “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz”, of Tauber fame, to two delectable rarities from Suppé’s Boccaccio.

Kirchschlager tries too hard as the dissolute Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus ) but makes amends with a tenderly phrased “Vilja” and a sinuous, seductive “Meine Lippen, die küssen so heiss” from Lehár’s Giuditta. Simon Keenlyside, in glorious voice, is by turns dulcet and virile, even if he doesn’t quite muster the insouciant charm of a Nicolai Gedda for Danilo’s “Da geh’ ich zu Maxim”. Drawbacks include some distinctly schmaltzy accompaniments and a booklet long on pretentious waffle but criminally short on texts and translations.

Richard Lawrence, Classic FM Magazine, August 2008


Rating: four out of five stars

Anybody with a sweet tooth will love this confection of sweetmeats from the golden and silver ages of Viennese operetta. The former includes two numbers from Suppé’s Boccaccio and Prince Orlofsky’s song in the party scene of Die Fledermaus. Six tracks are by Lehár, three from The Merry Widow; Keenlyside makes a dashing Danilo in ‘Da geh’ ich zu Maxim’ and Kirchschlager is tender in the ‘Vilja’ song. Equal pleasure is to be had from lesser-known operettas. Take with coffee and Sachertorte.


Patrick O’Connor, Opera, October 2008

In which operetta do the painter Delacroix, the composer Hervé and the writer Henri Murger vie for the favours of the prima donna, cheekily named Violetta? The answer is, of course, Kálmán’s Das Veilchen vom Montmartre. The big hit from this 1930 work was the tango-ballad that Kálmán added for the first Berlin production, ‘Heut’ Nacht hab ich geträumt von Dir’. This was recorded famously at the time by Jussi Björling (in Swedish); and part of the problem with this otherwise quite enjoyable disc is that Simon Keenlyside and Angelika Kirchschlager have chosen to sing tenor and soprano arias that are a bit beyond their natural terrain. Keenlyside phrases the aforementioned Kálmán tango with considerable feeling, but in this and the better-known aria from Die Zirkusprinzessin, ‘Wieder hinaus ins strahlende Licht’ , one misses that slight touch of vaudevillian elan which makes the difference between opera and musical theatre.

Indeed, all of these arias and duets have been recorded by famous singers of the past. In ‘Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss’ from Lehár’s Giuditta, Kirchschlager for some reason sings ‘die küssen’ instead of ‘sie küssen’. I turned to Jarmila Novotná’s creator recording, conducted by the composer, to see if my memory was correct. One misses the chorus here, and the feeling of erotic abandon so necessary to this scene, sung in a North African cabaret beneath the stars. (Just listen to Hilde Gueden on the famous Decca set conducted by Rudolf Moralt.) Kirchschlager is at her very best in the lovely song from Stolz’s Der Favorit, ‘Du sollst der Kaiser meine Seele sein’, and in ‘Chacun à son goût’ from Fledermaus she is really at home (she has sung Orlofsky on stage). Both artists seem in their element in the Italian duet from Suppés Boccaccio. At least one other famous Pelléas and Mélisande duo made the transition to Die lustige Witwe, but Kirchschlager hasn’t that ideal sheen on the voice to make a complete success of ‘Vilja’; again, one misses the chorus, and try as I might I cannot imagine Keenlyside as Graf Danilo Danilowitsch, beautifully though he recites the names of the grisettes in ‘Ich gehe zu Maxim’.

Maybe I’m being too pernickety. Give the disc a try, go straight to track seven and relish the way Keenlyside caresses the words in ‘Dunkelrote Rosen’ from Millöcker’s Gasparone.

Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now, September/October 2008

My heart alone Kirchschlager and Keenlyside peek winsomely from the cover, and let their hair down – though not really. This is a very polished rendition of your old favourites and more from the world of operetta. If only they would unbutton a bit more: the supremely elegant Keenlyside is no Richard Tauber, and there is something a bit restrained about Alfred Eschwe’s conducting of the Tonkiinstler-Orchester Nieder6sterreich when you (or at least I) really want the whole sugar-factory. Still, the disc is full of warmth, and the pair waltz (and tango) through it with more than enough Viennese spirit to keep going. The 16 tracks (some solo, some duets) include some out-of-the-way stuff from Kalman and Lehar’s lesser-known works, including The Gypsy Princess, The Circus Princess, and various other princesses. Come on, you know what to expect – these tunes sound familiar even on first hearing – and if you want to get drippy with nostalgia, it’s just the thing. Your mother will love it.

Bradley Bambarger, The Star-Ledger, 29 December 2008


Viennese duets to ring in the new year

The turn of the year is a time not only for champagne but for the fizz of operetta, with productions of Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” and Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” a seasonal tradition. A new disc includes favorite Viennese duets from those operettas and more, while another star vehicle features sparkling tunes from all over the world.

Although operetta is considered the lesser stepsister to grand opera, this Cinderella of a genre can be peculiarly affecting. But operetta demands just the right tone, or its brand of bubbly will go flat. Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager (bred to the idiom) and English baritone Simon Keenlyside (an artist’s artist) are steeped in the style, as well as frequent stage partners. Their set of Viennese arias and duets brims with swaying rhythms and sighing romance, every moment a joy.

The opening “Weisst du es Noch” from Kalman’s “The Gypsy Princess” is endlessly bittersweet melody, Kirchschlager’s voice winsome and Keenlyside’s as rich as any Viennese hot chocolate. Kirchschlager glows in a tuneful number from Lehar’s “Giuditta” (in a mellower transposition from the usual soprano range).

There are also three items from “The Merry Widow.” Keenlyside charms as Danilo “going to Maxim’s,” even if he doesn’t have quite the rakish twinkle of Bo Kovhus (today’s go-to Danilo). Kirchschlager usually makes the most adorable Valencienne, but she sings “Vilja Lied” like an ideal Hanna, her lyricism wonderfully natural (with never too much vibrato). And, even though they were recorded in a Vienna radio studio, the two sound like nostalgic lovers on a moonlit balcony in a swooning “Widow” duet.

There are waltzing favorites and rarities by Johann Strauss, Millöcker, Stolz, Von Suppe and Kalman. But it’s the Lehar numbers that steal the show, from Keenlyside’s virile-yet-subtle take on the famous “My Heart Alone” to a melody-drenched duet from “Gypsy Love.” Kirchschlager and Keenlyside trade rapt, floating phrases in the duet as the orchestra swirls around them like a musical love potion.

Viennese conductor Alfred Eschwe and Austria’s Tonkunstler-Orchester have three-quarter time in their blood, and they provide velvety support. The only black mark is the booklet’s lack of lyrics and translations.

Roger Pines, Opera News, February 2009


Break out a truly bracing champagne and then give this classy disc a listen. Thoughtfully conceived and beautifully executed, this operetta program will win many new admirers for Angelika Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside. Their program mixes familiar fare of Johann Strauss and Franz Lehár with other numbers more rarely encountered. Among the latter are a ravishing ballad from Karl Millöcker’s Gasparone and several items by Emmerich Kálmán, including a seductive tango, originally written as a popular song but later interpolated into Das Veilchen von Montmartre. Only in one instance — a duet from Lehár’s Zigeunerliebe — does any of the music seem not quite worthy of the occasion.

Kirchschlager, of course, has a native Austrian’s instinct for this repertoire. Her English colleague, however, offers similarly authentic phrasing and textual delivery — and superb German. Easy even on a full-voiced high G-sharp, the baritone also expertly manages the floating mezza voce required in much Viennese material. His downward transposition of the title track, the tenor chestnut “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz,” becomes unimportant, so elegantly and meaningfully shaped is the singing. All of Keenlyside’s characterizations prove captivating, especially Die Lustige Witwe’s Danilo — incorrigible man-about-town in “Da geh’ ich zu Maxim,” soulful lover in “Lippen schweigen.” Arguably the most popular melody in any Viennese operetta, “Lippen schweigen” (a.k.a. The Merry Widow waltz) feels unexpectedly fresh, with Kirchschlager joining Keenlyside in a deeply affectionate performance. Here, as in three other duets, the singers’ timbres are splendidly matched.

Kirchschlager is heard in her usual mezzo Fach only as Die Fledermaus’s Orlofsky; she sings his couplets with terrific zest, unafraid to discolor her tone here and there to make interpretive points. Sounding otherwise very much like a lyric soprano, she transposes Giuditta’s “Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss” down a tone but takes her other solos in the original keys (although Hanna Glawari’s “Vilja-Lied” is sans high B). Kirchschlager sings warmly and with a blessedly unaffected style, reveling in leaps to soft high notes. You may find yourself returning repeatedly to her magical performance of “Draussen in Sievering” from Die Tänzerin Fanny Elssler (a 1934 show constructed from material by Johann Strauss). The singer presents this rapturous slow waltz with quintessentially Viennese nostalgia.
The Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich and conductor Alfred Eschwé are vital to the program’s success: tempos are leisurely but never flaccid, with orchestral tone sufficiently full but going easy on the schlag.

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