Wesendonck Lieder, “Tannhauser,” “Tristan and Isolde”

Anne Schwanewilms, soprano

ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra


Three stars

Born in 1967 in the German industrial city of Gelsenkirchen, Anne Schwanewilms is a lyric soprano associated with German late Romantic music. Her voice is on the bright side, with coloratura high notes.

Singing Wagner takes great stamina and she can sometimes sound harsh or strained in the high registers. But she sculpts her notes artfully and has a beautiful way of beginning a high note, easing into it. (In a different Capriccio CD, devoted to lieder of Schumann and Wolf, she gives us some exquisite singing.) I like a Wagner disc that mixes vocal and orchestral selections. Her “Liebestod” is gripping. Manuel Lange, who accompanies her on piano in her Lieder disc, conducts the Wagner with a nice jolt of energy.

– Mary Kunz Goldman