Hanna-Elisabeth Müller’s new disc with pianist Juliane Ruf, dubbed by Limelight‘s Justine Nguyen “a winner of a recital” is out now on Pentatone. Here’s what the German soprano is listening to when she’s not recording.

Hanna-Elisabeth Muller

Hanna-Elisabeth Müller. Photo © Chris Gonz

Massenet: Thaïs

Renée Fleming s, Thomas Hampson bar, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Yves Abel cond
Decca 4667662

For sure one of my all time favourites. It was the first opera live broadcast from the Met I saw in a movie cinema back in 2000 and from minute one I fell in love with the music, the story, the heartbreaking ending and not to forget with the voice and the singing of Renée Fleming. It’s just perfection and even today, 20 years later, I love to hear this recording, listening to her shimmering voice melting together with the sound of the orchestra.

Schubert: Nacht und Träume

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Gerald Moore p
DG 4775765

This little jewel of Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore perfectly shows the art and beauty of Lied. There’s actually not very much more to say about it. It’s pure joy to listen to the beautiful voice of Fischer-Dieskau, filled with so many shades and colours.

Strauss: Four Last Songs

Anja Harteros s, Staatskapelle Dresden, Fabio Luisi cond
Sony 88697558392

I think the Four Last Songs are unique. There is no other composition which is so highly filled with emotions, beauty and a unique interaction of voice and orchestra. Harteros perfectly uses her voice, I often get the feeling she draws paintings for the listeners and it’s easy to follow her beautiful voice and get carried away.

Wagner: Isolde’s Liebestod

Jessye Norman s, Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan cond
DG 4236132

Talking about all the emotions you get carried through by listening to Strauss 4 last songs, I could not not mention this highlight of a recording. Jessie Norman sings the death scene of Isolde with incredible noblesse and beauty. Perfect phrasing, no hearable technical difficulties. Pure velvet.

Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Thomas Hampson bar, Wiener Philharmoniker, Leonard Bernstein cond
DG E4316822

Thomas Hampson leads with beautiful phrasing, colours and perfect technique through these very special songs by Mahler. The interaction with Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra seems to be so easy that I wish I could be a Baritone for only one night to be able to sing these songs.