After her sumptuous album of Strauss songs with orchestra, soprano Diana Damrau marks the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth with an album of his most celebrated songs in German and Italian, accompanied by pianist Helmut Deutsch.
Kinder brauchen Spaß, dann lernen sie ganz von selbst. Das neue Buch Spielerisch Deutsch lernen - Lieder und Reime ist da genau das Richtige! 14 schwungvolle Lieder erzählen aus der Lebenswelt der Kinder: Familie, Wetter, Farben, Tiere etc. …
Although highly productive and respected in his lifetime as a composer of Lieder, Robert Franz (1815–92) has since become a peripheral figure in music history. One reason may be that he avoids dramatic contrasts and instead aims at an emotional ambiguity: ‘My representation of joy is always tinged with melancholy, whilst that of suffering is always accompanied by an exquisite sensation of losing oneself’, he once wrote to Liszt. As a consequence his music appeals to those who are able ‘to admire the nuances of a charcoal drawing without longing for the colours of a painting’, to quote from Georges Starobinski’s liner notes to this recording. As they began to explore the songs of Franz, Starobinski and the baritone Christian Immler were moved by their findings to devise a programme which includes 23 of the composer’s often quite brief songs. Using the poet Heinrich Heine as their guiding star, they present these – all Heine settings but from different opus groups – in the form of two ‘imagined’ song cycles.
The concert that brought together Peter Schreier, the leading Mozart tenor of the 1970s from Dresden, and Erik Werba, the Vienna-born doyen of lied accompanists on 25 January 1978 featured 17 songs, the cantata with piano accompaniment “Die ihr des unermesslichen Weltalls Schöpfer ehrt” K619 from the final year of Mozart’s life, as well as two encore pieces.
Anticipating the developments of his maturity, Franz Liszt's Harmonies poétiques et religieuses is an important transitional piece, if not especially coherent or profound. Liszt's sentimentality and chronic showmanship prevent this set of pious reveries from achieving the deepest spiritual dimensions. But there are many reflective moments in this work that indicate a growing seriousness and even presage the dark emotions and austerity of his final period. While the Invocation, Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, and the Cantique d'amour are predictably ecstatic in their climaxes, each contains sustained passages of calm introspection.
Beethoven as a giant of the symphony and the sonata has somewhat overshadowed Beethoven as a creator of songs. On this varied and insightful recording, tenor Werner Güra performs a program featuring Adelaide and the first song cycle in history, An die ferne Geliebte, that proves Beethoven's lieder lacked neither appeal nor originality. Accompanist Christoph Berner plays a Streicher fortepiano of 1847 that is perfectly suited to both the songs and to his solo performance of the wonderful Bagatelles of Op.126.