An unrivalled and towering figure on stage and in the studio, Jessye Norman was unquestionably one of the exceptional sopranos of all time. Her death in September 2019, which left the world bereft of an unmistakably radiant light, saw legions of fans including celebrities, civil rights and arts world leaders, sharing the impact she made on their lives, and reinvigorated discussion in articles, blogs and fan groups around ‘unreleased recordings’. Launching 2023 with this headline release at the very top of the year, and with the support of her family and estate, Decca proudly presents a collection of six unreleased Philips recordings of works by Britten, Haydn, Berlioz, R. Strauss & Wagner.
It was Ms Norman’s perfectionism, the feeling that the music was often better than any performer could do justice to, that caused her to withhold the recordings which now see the light of day. Now lovingly restored and remastered from the original tapes, Jessye’s countless admirers, who have long yearned for these, can hear these important documents of one of the greatest singers ever recorded. All the works in this stunning new collection are essentially love poems in one form or another, and constitute Jessye Norman’s final “Abschied” to the world of recording. The release includes a 68-page booklet with new essays (in E/F/G) by Cyrus Meher-Homji (who has done much sleuthing to uncover the stories behind these recordings), Costa Pilavachi, and George Hall, sung-texts in original language with English translations, and many beautiful photographs