Related Reviews
New Criterion
'Cargill sang them [Alma Mahler's Funf Lieder] sensibly and beautifully.'
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New York Times
'[Karen] possesses startling power and a creamy middle range...'
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The Washington Post
'Alma's "In Meines Vaters Garten" brought out Cargill's luscious, full-bodied chest voice and her fluid sense of rubato, ably assisted by pianist Simon Lepper.'
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The Absolute Sound
'...beautifully rendered by mezzo-soprano Cargill and captured by engineer Philip Hobbs with immediacy and a bit of an edge when the vocalist cranks it up.'
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Herald Scotland
Top 50 Scottish Albums of 2014: #7 'Scotland's opera superstar mines incredible depth of emotion from these songs, as her mezzo-soprano range is sensitively matched by Simon Lepper's piano accompaniment.'
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Herald Scotland
Pick of 2014: '...Karen Cargill released a breathtaking album of songs by Gustav and Alma Mahler...'
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Opera News
'Splendid... Her liquid and often sensuous instrument retains a fine sheen throughout the program. There exist many admirable recorded versions of these two cycles; Cargill's have the virtue - rare at this point in recording history - of sounding unlike anybody else's.'
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Fanfare
'Karen Cargill has one of the creamiest mezzo voices I've heard in a long time...'
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Luister
5 Stars
Luister 10: 'Adembenemend.' / 'Breathtaking.'
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Fanfare
'The rising Scottish mezzo possesses a big, beautiful voice, which has the earned almost unanimous praise...Cargill's most heartfelt rendition is of Urlicht...'
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Fono Forum
,,Für die erste Gruppe von fünf Gesängen setzt sich die schottische Mezzosopranistin Karen Cargill ein, mit textlicher Akkuratesse und erfülltem Ausdruck. Als sensibler Begleiter fungiert Simon Lepper.''
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Opera Magazine NL
'In de Rückert-Lieder laten beide kunstenaars mij naar adem happen, zo geweldig vind ik hun uitvoering.'
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Classical Ear
4 Stars
'In absorbing all the fin de siècle passions of the poets she set Alma displayed a fine gift for lyric line and richly romantic accompaniment which Karen Cargill and Simon Lepper readily seize upon in their penetrating performances...'
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MusicWeb International
'Karen Cargill is an excellent advocate for Alma's songs. Her voice has youthful freshness and her affection for the songs is obvious.'
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Gramophone (High Fidelity)
'This recital of Lieder by Mr & Mrs Mahler sung by Karen Cargill on Linn is a spine-tingling combination of performance and recording quality.'
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International Record Review
'Karen Cargill's voice was made for Gustav's music, and we can now determine that it suits Alma's equally well.'
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Pizzicato
'Der Pianist Simon Lepper ist dagegen fantastisch. Sein Klavierspiel ist enorm feinfühlig und er geht das Wagnis ein, surreale Klänge und impressionistische Farben miteinzubringen, was insbesondere den Liedern von Alma Mahler gut tut.'
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BBC Music Magazine
'And Karen Cargill's beautifully integrated, smoky mezzo reveals the full stature of these songs [by Alma], just as Simon Lepper relishes their fearless piano writing.'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'Karen Cargill, warm, instinctive and golden-voiced, and Simon Lepper are responsive partners...'
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Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
'The surround sound is superb, the singing radiant, and the Mahler versus Mahler side-by-side a wonderful programmatic initiative.'
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Gramophone
'...luxurious radiance...Cargill expressive at every level, while still proudly displaying the full glory of her voice.'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
'...rich and radiant performances by Scots mezzo soprano Karen Cargill and pianist Simon Lepper.'
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BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
'… mezzo Karen Cargill has just the emotional range these songs need, it’s a big voice, and pianist Simon Lepper underlines their passion. I like that they open the recital with Alma Mahler’s Five songs and such flirtatious freshness before the more familiar Gustav Mahler settings.'
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The Times
'It's expressive, bold music and Cargill sings it eloquently...'
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All Music
4½ Stars
'Cargill is extraordinary in her control over the scope of these songs, sustaining them over their heavenly length while not breaking them out of their chamber dimensions… A superb job from a singer who is getting her due.'
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SA-CD.net
4½ Stars
'Cargill performs them with great sensitivity and communicates a keen understanding of the texts. She is accompanied beautifully by Simon Lepper whose imaginative playing is ideally matched with Cargill's fine singing.'
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Karen Cargill - Mahler: Lieder - The Herald Scotland


29 June 2014
The Herald Scotland
Michael Tumelty

Here is something to love and treasure.

In this neck of the woods we are familiar, and terminally smitten, with the ultra-gorgeous voice of mezzo Karen Cargill, particularly through her work with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded with them, of course, but now she makes her debut solo recital disc for Linn, with her regular accompanist Simon Lepper. It's all Mahler, Gustav and Alma (and therein lies an extraordinary story for elsewhere). This is one of the most beautiful recordings I have ever heard. Cargill is in sumptuous form, at the top of her game, and never more ravishingly voiced than in these glorious, heart-melting performances of Gustav's Ruckert Lieder (my favourite set of all), the five Wayfarer Songs, Urlicht from the Second Symphony, and five enthralling, revelatory and lovely songs by Alma. There is a halo of intense, luminous beauty around Cargill's voice throughout. It is one of her greatest performances. It will break your heart.


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