The Flagstad Recitals – Vol. 4: Songs For Sunday

The Flagstad Recitals – Vol. 4: Songs For Sunday
Kirsten Flagstad
ABC Classics
Catalogue No.

The fourth volume in ‘The Flagstad Recitals’, comprises two LPs Kirsten Flagstad made with the London Philharmonic and Sir Adrian Boult in December 1956 (Bach and Handel: CD2) and April 1957 (Sacred Songs: CD1) at London’s Kingsway Hall. The Penguin Guide to bargain Compact Discs praised the ‘sacred pops’ CD for the ‘vivid projection’ of Flagstad’s voice and singled out the ‘great majesty and weight’ of her voice. As with the sacred songs, the Bach and Handel items have a devotional aura of their own and this anthology is also unique for the first stereo publication of Bach’s aria ‘Sheep may safely graze’ and the first-ever publication of ‘Art thou troubled’ from Handel’s ‘Rodelinda’.

Some of the songs featured on ‘Great Sacred Songs’ made their way onto a 45rpm EP which was entitled ‘Songs for Sunday’, from which derives the title of this compilation. Flagstad’s own religious beliefs remain unexpressed in ‘The Flagstad Manuscript’– there are no pronouncements about morality per se or about the immortality of the soul. How she lived her life speaks for itself, however, and so do the performances on this CD: songs not just for Sunday for but every day.


MENDELSSOHN: Hear my prayer
MENDELSSOHN: Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, from Paulus, Op.36
GRUBER: Stille Nacht
GOUNOD: O Divine Redeemer
PARRY: Jerusalem
WADE: Adeste Fideles (O come, all ye faithful)
LIDDLE: Abide with me
J.S. BACH: Sheep may safely graze Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd, Cantata, BWV 20 (FIRST PUBLICATION OF STEREO VERSION)
J.S. BACH: Break in Grief St Matthew Passion, BWV 244
J.S. BACH: Jesu, joy of man’s desiring Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, Cantata, BWV 147
J.S. BACH: Bist du bei mir (If thou be near), BWV 508 Aria
HANDEL: He shall feed his flock, from Messiah
HANDEL: I know that my Redeemer liveth, from Messiah
HANDEL: Praise ye the Lord
HANDEL: Sommi Dei (Gods all powerful), from Radamisto
HANDEL: Oh sleep, why doest thou leave me, from Semele, HWV 28
HANDEL: Art thou troubled from Rodelinda (PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED)

Kirsten Flagstad, soprano
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult