Reviews and gleanings

  • Multi-faceted "Dream Woman"
    Oberösterreichische Nachrichten (Karin Schütze) | August, 2009

    ....The programme was as varied as the topic multifaceted... Elisabeth von Magnus sensitively portrayed women in all sorts of life situations: women in despair, like Arianna, abandoned on Naxos by Theseus; women in love and women who have been seduced. Bogaart proved to be an extremely sensitive and attentive accompanist…

  • A song recital, classically different
    Neues Volksblatt, Linz (Georgina Szeless) | April, 2009

    Dream Woman was the theme of the evening and a dream woman was on stage: Elisabeth von Magnus, blonde and looking like an angel in a sky-blue gown, and who played all her trump cards… the beautiful sound of her mezzo voice with its pleasant warm timbre, a divine gift, just like her appearance. This brings to mind an Austrian Milva when she skilfully displays her acting talent in chansons and songs....
    …...three songs reminiscent of Mahler by Bertha Frensel Wegener-Koopman: the highlight of an evening which would have deserved a packed house…...

  • Joseph Haydn, Orlando Paladino
    Das Opernglas (W. Kutzschbach) | Januar, 2008

    ...Elisabeth von Magnus brought her experience as Alcina with her, and wearing spectacles and dressed in black demonstrated her comic talent in the roles of sorceress, psychotherapist and stage manager. She was outstanding in the role through her expressive portrayal…...

  • Joseph Haydn in the Wurstelprater
    Drehpunkt Kultur, Internet arts journal | Oktober, 2007

    ...Stage director Keith Warner devised an interesting interpretation for the sorceress Alcina in the production in Vienna: she became “Frau Dr. Freud” who treats her patients on a velvet couch or, where necessary – introduces magic into the goings-on (appropriately portrayed by Elisabeth von Magnus)…

  • Expedition into the unknown
    Passauer Neue Presse (M.Wimmer) | August, 2007

    ....Elisabeth von Magnus is one of Austria’s outstanding opera and lied singers. With her very distinctive appearance, her clear warm timbre and very flexible voice she captivates the audience. Her natural charm emphasises her simple and yet expressive artistic statement…...

  • Three days in Eilay
    Ha'aretz Gallery Plus (Noam Ben Zeey) | Juni, 2007

    ....all of the rest was right as well: Elisabeth van Magnus’s voice descended into the right cabaret huskiness and soared to heights even beyond the range of a mezzo; her appearance on the stage was romantic and captivating and impertinent and seductive – exactly as Weill’s bitter-sweet songs demand; and her pianist Jacob Bogaart was charming with an appropriate jazzy-cabaret, laid-back cool. For the moment the southern city was forgotten and was replaced by the Berlin – Paris – New York route that Weill travelled, writing his marvellous music ....

  • Superb recording of Kurt Weill's German & American Songs
    New York (John Kwok) | Mai, 2007

    .... Austrian mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus is a convincing, persuasive performer of Weill’s music and has in Dutch pianist Jacob Bogaart as her accompanist an equally accomplished artist.... This recording is based on a Weill song recital which the pair have taken on tour throughout Europe, and now, most recently, to New York City too ...

  • Le Nozze di Figaro - DVD
    Tatort/Tarot | Juni, 2006

    ...Elisabeth von MagnusMagnus in the role of Marcellina has enormous stage presence both in acting and singing. Throughout her characterisation of the role she instils just the right amount of humour. And not only that, she sings beautifully, in my opinion especially so in the ensembles where her voice often seems to “carry” the others a little…”...

    ...Von Magnus is an incredibly elegant and cool Marcellina. A very refreshing new interpretation of the role: and, again, what a voice!...

  • Elisabeth von Magnus, Giving Mozart Her Best
    The Washington Post (Joe Banno) | Januar, 2006

    ....Her seasoned way of phrasing 18th-century art songs – judiciously employed vibrato, vivid projection of the words, a lithe and flexible treatment of the musical line.

    ....Von Magnus was enthralling in Haydn’s emotionally fraught solo cantata Ariadne auf Naxos, showing a girlish fragility as Ariadne awakens, singing with a creamy tone when pining for the absent lover and practically shouting recriminatory high notes when she discovers her betrayal. Her Mozart was even better. She offered a melting rendition of Abendempfindung, a wistfully nostalgic Die Verschweigung and a deliciously free-form Die Alte, in which the elderly protagonist was limned in swooping phrasing and moments of speech-song that brought Kurt Weill’s cabaret songs to mind.... however, her interpretations etched themselves into the memory.

  • Händel, Messiah
    de Gooi- en Eemlander (Els Boer) | Dezember, 2005

    ....contralto Elisabeth von Magnus showed in her breathtakingly beautifully sung arias that Handel’s Messiah also gives the soloists the chance to shine....

  • J.S.Bach, Matthäuspassion
    Fränkische Landeszeitung (Th. Wirth) | August, 2003

    ... Elisabeth von Magnus impressed with lush alto and confident lines ...

  • Brahms, Folk songs
    Kronen Zeitung, (M. Andexer) - Kleine Zeitung (C.A.Klug) | Juli, 2003

    ....Elisabeth von Magnus gave a very precisely phrased interpretation....

    ... Elisabeth von Magnus and Jörn Dopfer’s interpretation was rich in expressive nuances, vocal brilliance and cheerful serenity...

  • Haydn - CD
    Luister (M.H.), Klassieke Zaken (C.R.) | Januar, 2003

    ... The canzonets are masterpieces piece by piece and they are wonderfully sung here by Elisabeth von Magnus. Dramatic, lively and fulfilling. Her heavy voice, sometimes almost an alto, is particularly suitable for these atmospheric and touching songs. She turns The Spirit's Song into a little opera. She is supported by Jacob Bogaart, who accompanies her excellently and who succeeds in creating a ominous mood in the opening bars ... In the cantata about an Italian text, Arianna a Naxos, from 1789, Magnus and succeeds Bogaart holding the tension for twenty minutes ...


    ...Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo-soprano), Jacob Bogaart (piano) ... An ideal interpretation has now appeared on CD sung by the Austrian mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus accompanied by the Dutch pianist Jacob Bogaart. It is simply impossible to switch off this CD. The expressive passion of Elisabeth von Magnus is fascinating, and Jacob Bogaart is a poet with golden fingers....

  • G.Rossini . Petite Messe Solennelle
    Kleine Zeitung | November, 2002

    ...This exemplary approach was brilliantly carried out..... the eminent soloists – Elisabeth von Magnus.... gave a performance perfectly balanced between theatricality and intimate religiosity.

  • Maria Programme
    Concerto: the magazine for early music | Oktober, 2002

    ....Pergolesi’s Stabat mater in the Mariahilfer Church. In the eloquent interpretation by Els Bongers (soprano), Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo-soprano) and the young Ensemble Lyrique the work had an almost operatic character. Maria’s suffering was given an unsentimental portrayal which made it so gripping. Von Magnus introduced calm and exquisite cantilena into the strangely dance-like quae moerebat, considering its content, and yet the emotional agitation could be sensed throughout. Restrained vibrato and a full, vivacious string sound characterised the orchestra which was founded by Simon Schouten. The conductor meticulously elaborated phrases, unfolded the individual parts and at the same time had such a supreme structural command of the material that the soloists were drawn into a natural flow of singing and breathing.

  • J.A.Hasse . Piramo e Tisbe
    Das Opernglas, B.Frakele | Oktober, 2002

    ....Simon Schouten with his Ensemble Lyrique presents a delicate interpretation of Hasse’s sensitive style. He spans fine arcs of melody, breathing with the singers and creating exciting nuances. In the role of the youthful Piramo Elisabeth von Magnus demonstrated the stupendous expressive power of her warm mezzo-soprano as well as giving an extremely vital portrayal. ....This was an appealing operatic discovery, presented on an extremely high musical level and was highly acclaimed by the audience!

  • Angelic Tisbe
    Concerto: The magazine for early music, Heidemarie Klabacher | Oktober, 2002

    ....Elisabeth von Magnus Magnus took the role of Piramo, Silvia Weiss was an angelic Tisbe, tenor Bernhard Berchtold the furious Padre.... Three soloists who were all convincing in their vocal and dramatic portrayal; an excellent orchestra, an enchantingly simple stage design and witty directing. This all made the opera evening one of the outstanding highlights of the Styriarte Festival.

  • Impressive mezzo-soprano
    Hansjörg Spies | Juli, 2002

    ... Els Bongers and Elisabeth von Magnus, the impressive mezzo-soprano, sound out all the values of their complicated part, fabulously carried by the silvery shimmering instrumental carpet that Simon Schouten delicately rolls out with his 13 musicians.

  • G.Rossini, Petite Messe Solennelle
    Angeline Augustus-Kersten, Els Boer | November, 2000

    ... the transparent, colorful and particularly homogeneous choral sound of ENSEMBLE LYRIQUE was a guarantee for a perfect basis for Rossini's music .... Not to mention the soloists, especially Elisabeth v. Magnus, who showed a remarkable flexibility and a multitude of colors ... if only this performance could only be on my CD shelf once! ...


    ....occasionally performances take place which stand out from usual day-to-day concert programmes and then, all of a sudden, we have a magnificent evening. This was the case with the very first appearance by the ENSEMBLE LYRIQUE. Schouten brought everything together in a marvellous whole. The four soloists were without exception fantastic, especially the two ladies. Mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus, a delicate person with a magnificent timbre.... she sparkled with O Salutaris, it would have been nice if she could have repeated it another ten times...