ìDein ist mein ganzes Herzî

Or perhaps not remarkable at all when you take into account the
considerable talents of Angelika Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside. Fans of
this pair (count me in) and/or operetta should revel in their fine renditions
of predictable standards along with some delectable excerpts that are less
performed. Strauss, Lehar, von Suppe,and Kalman are all well represented, of
course, alongside a pair of jewels from works by Milloecker and Stolz.

The recital kicks off with the duet ìWeisst Du Es Nochî (ìDie
Csardasfuerstinî) that alternates playful patter with a lushly expansive
and deeply felt ìhaunting refrain.î The duo establishes their impeccable
credentials at once, displaying sound technique, naturally beautiful
instruments, clear diction, compatible partnering, and complete command of
the material and style. It is doubtful that either artist has performed all,
or perhaps any of these roles in a staged production, yet each seems immersed
in the material, conferring each selection with an appropriate

The many waltz numbers do tend to have a certain (albeit lovely) aural
sameness to them, but that is not the fault of the artists. Still, von
Suppeís 3/4-time ìMia Bella Fiorentinaî (ìBoccaccioî) offers some
diversity of mood, not to mention language. And both singers show imagination
and seriousness of purpose in quite successfully creating a fresh take on
each piece.

My personal pick of the mezzoís offerings would have to be the hushed
pleasure she lavishes on ìHabí Ich Nur Deine Liebeî (ìBoccaccioî
again). The underlying tango rhythms of the aria from Kalmanís ìThe
Violet of Montmartreî (oh, that again!) buoy the baritone to perhaps his
best and most nuanced reading in the collection.

Did the world really need another traversal of ìIch Lade Gern Mir Gaeste
Einî (ìChacun a Son Goutî), ìViljalied,î or ìMeine Lippen Die
Kuessen So Heissî? Perhaps not. But Ms. Kirchschlager is idiomatic and
persuasive on them, and the first does serve to bring a needed bit of cheeky
variation in the material. If the ìViljaî does not have quite the freedom
and panache in the upper reaches that some lyrico-spinto sopranos have
brought to it, and if ìMeine Lippen. . .î does not have the hedonistic
abandon that Anna Netrebko brought to it recently in Baden-Baden, they are
nonetheless beautifully voiced.

Among his other always enjoyable arias, the baritone charms us with a
delightfully sly ìDa Gehí Ich Zu Maximî (ìDie Lustige Witweî)
marked as much by virile full-throated phrases as it is by playful, hushed,
and coy asides. The CDís titular ìDein Ist Mein Ganzes Herzî finds
Keenlyside (standing in for the usual tenor) in rapturous command of all the
schmaltz, crooning, and tonal outpouring needed for maximum effect in
bringing the whole affair to a thrilling close.

The Tonkuenstler-Orchester Noe under the secure leadership of Alfred
Eschwe is an able partner in these highly enjoyable, and eminently listenable
results offering pliable phrasing, nice solo work, and solid rhythmic pulse
as required.

Operetta. Like it or not, you probably just arenít ever going to hear
these tunes better sung. Maybe that is why ìThe Merry Widowî waltz is now
stuck in my head? Hell, I may just play the whole thing yet again and rejoice
in the guilty pleasure that two outstanding artists have perpetrated a highly
infectious recording.

James Sohre

image_description=ìDein ist mein ganzes Herzî
product_title=ìDein ist mein ganzes Herzî
product_by=Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Tonkuenstler- Orchestra Noe, Alfred Eschwe, conductor
product_id=Sony Classics 88697119082 [CD]
price=19,95 Euro