Classical Records: Mahler & Korngold: Lieder. Angelika Kirchschlager/He lmut Deutsch (Sony, CD).

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Sony Classical is actively pursuing embryonic divas to enhance its artist-roster, and along with Jane Eaglen, the most promising new name they've signed recently is Angelika Kirchschlager, the glamorous young Austrian mezzo who makes her solo recording debut with this disc. In live performance - at this year's Schubertiade - I thought her alluring, but with a slight hauteur in the delivery and hardness in the tone. On disc it's the allure that wins, hands down. The beauty, clarity and definition of the sound is captivating, and response to text immaculate. She also chooses fascinating repertory. The Mahler isn't only Gustav: there are songs by Alma (a composer too until her husband put a stop to it).

The Korngold songs are a discovery for anyone who hasn't fallen to their spell already. And with finely tuned accompaniments from Helmut Deutsch, this disc is award material. Strongly recommended.

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