Hunt Lieberson’s ravishing recital

Recorded in the shadow of breast cancer, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson brought a depth and richness to this live recital.

Composer: Various
Repertoire: Recital at Ravinia Music by Brahms, Mozart, Debussy, et al.
Artists: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Serkin (piano)
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Vocal/Instrumental
Label: Harmonia Mundi HMU 907500

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s Ravinia Festival recital, recorded two years before her death in 2006, holds a mirror up to love, attachment and spiritual contemplation. Illness was in the background but only affects and enriches the depth of the singer’s work. The lustre and expressive range of her voice, complemented by Serkin’s eloquent musicianship, genuinely suggest immortality. She enacts the love-drama of Brahms’s Von Ewige Lieber without sentimentality, and brings a comparable directness and economy to arias from Handel’s La Lucrezia and Giulio Cesare. It’s the artistry rather than the artist’s ego that counts here.