Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Recordings

Early Swedish opera - Stenhammer world premiere

The Feast at Solhaug : Henrik Ibsen's play Gildet paa Solhaug (1856) inspired Wilhelm Stenhammer's opera Gillet på Solhaug. The world premiere recording is now available via Sterling CD, in a 3 disc set which includes full libretto and background history.

Walter Braunfels Orchestral Songs Vol 2

Honours yet again to Oehms Classics who understand the importance of excellence. A composer as good, and as individual, as Walter Braunfels deserves nothing less.

The Tallis Scholars: Josquin's Missa Di dadi

‘Can great music be inspired by the throw of the dice?’ asks Peter Phillips, director of The Tallis Scholars, in his liner notes to the ensemble’s new recording of Josquin’s Missa Di dadi (The Dice Mass). The fifteenth-century artist certainly had an abundant supply of devotional imagery. As one scholar has put it, during this age there was neither ‘an object nor an action, however trivial, that [was] not constantly correlated with Christ or salvation’.

A Venetian Double: English Touring Opera

Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto was the composer’s fifteenth opera, and the ninth to a libretto by Giovanni Faustini (1615-1651). First performed at the Teatro Sant’Apollinaire in Venice on 28th November 1651, the opera by might have been sub-titled ‘Gods Behaving Badly’, so debauched are the deities’ dalliances and deviations, so egotistical their deceptions.

Walter Braunfels : Orchestral Songs Vol 1

New from Oehms Classics, Walter Braunfels Orchestral Songs Vol 1. Luxury singers - Valentina Farcas, Klaus Florian Vogt and Michael Volle, with the Staatskapelle Weimar, conducted by Hansjörg Albrecht.

Lalo: Complete Songs

Edouard Lalo (1823-92) is best known today for his instrumental works: the Symphonie espagnole (which is, despite the title, a five-movement violin concerto), the Symphony in G Minor, and perhaps some movements from his ballet Namouna, a scintillating work that the young Debussy adored.

New from Opera Rara : Gounod La Colombe and Donizetti Le Duc d'Albe

Two new recordings from highly acclaimed specialists Opera Rara - Gounod La Colombe and Donizetti Le Duc d'Albe.

Félicien David: Herculanum

It is not often that a major work by a forgotten composer gets rediscovered and makes an enormously favorable impression on today’s listeners. That has happened, unexpectedly, with Herculanum, a four-act grand opera by Félicien David, which in 2014 was recorded for the first time.

Samuel Barber: Choral Music

This recording, made in the Adrian Boult Hall at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music in June 2014, is the fourth disc in SOMM’s series of recordings with Paul Spicer and the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.

A Prize-Winning Rediscovery from 1840s Paris (and 1830s Egypt)

Félicien David’s intriguing Le désert, for vocal and orchestral forces plus narrator, was widely performed in its own day, then disappeared from the performing repertory for nearly a century.

Félicien David: Songs for voice and piano

This well-packed disc is a delight and a revelation. Until now, even the most assiduous record collector had access to only a few of the nearly 100 songs published by Félicien David (1810-76), in recordings by such notable artists as Huguette Tourangeau, Ursula Mayer-Reinach, Udo Reinemann, and Joan Sutherland (the last-mentioned singing the duet “Les Hirondelles” with herself!).

John Taverner: Missa Corona spinea

This new release of John Taverner’s virtuosic and florid Missa Corona spinea (produced by Gimell Records) comes two years after The Tallis Scholars’ critically esteemed recording of the composer’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, which topped the UK Specialist Classical Album Chart for 6 weeks, and with which the ensemble celebrated their 40th anniversary. The recording also includes Taverner’s two settings of Dum transisset Sabbatum.

“Nessun Dorma — The Puccini Album”

Sounds swirl with an urgent emotionality and meandering virtuosity on Jonas Kaufmann’s new Puccini album—the “real one”, according to Kaufmann, whose works were also released earlier this year on Decca records, allegedly without his approval.

Honegger: Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher

Marion Cotillard and Marc Soustrot bring the drama to the sweeping score of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne dArc au bûcher, an adaptation of the Trial of Joan of Arc

Far in the Heavens — Choral Music of Stephen Paulus

Stephen Paulus provided the musical world, and particularly the choral world, with music both provocative and pleasing through a combination of lyricism and a modern-Romantic tonal palette.

Review: You Promised Me Everything

Richard Taruskin entitled his 1988 polemical critique of the notion of ‘authenticity’ in the context of historically informed performance, ‘The Pastness of the Present and the Presence of the Past’.

Donizetti: Les Martyrs

As the editor of Opera magazine, John Allison, notes in his editorial in the June issue, Donizetti fans are currently spoilt for choice, enjoying a ‘Donizetti revival’ with productions of several of the composer’s lesser known works cropping up in houses around the world.

Green: Mélodies françaises sur des poèmes de Verlaine

Philippe Jaroussky lends poetry and poise to the sounds of nineteenth- and twentieth-century France

A worthy tribute for a vocal seductress of the ancient régime

Carolyn Sampson has long avoided the harsh glare of stardom but become a favourite singer for “those in the know” — and if you are not one of those it is about time you were.

Schubert’s Winterreise by Matthias Goerne

This Winterreise is the final instalment of Matthias Goerne’s series of Schubert lieder for Harmonia Mundi and it brings the Matthias Goerne Schubert Edition, begun in 2008, to a dark, harrowing close.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Recordings

Erwartung
25 Aug 2006

Erwartung — Lieder by Schoenberg, Wagner, Strauss et al.

Internationally acclaimed soprano, Solveig Kringelborn, now has recorded a delightful selection of late nineteenth-century German Lieder on the NMA label.

Erwartung

Solveig Kringelborn (Soprano), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)

Norway Music Aurora NIMA 5 [SACD]

$16.99  Click to buy

The carefully planned selection includes Vier Lieder, op. 2 by Schoenberg, three selections from Strauss’ op. 39, Wagner’s Fünf Gedichte von Mathilde Wesendonck, Four Mignon-Lieder by Wolf, and three selections from Max Reger’s Schlicte Weisen, op. 76.

Unfortunately, the album is entitled Erwartung, with Schoenberg’s name credited first on the cover. This may lead some buyers to believe the selections will be Schoenberg’s dramatic psycho-thriller or a monodrama, Erwartung, op. 17. However, the album takes it title from the first song of his Vier Lieder, also entitled “Erwartung,” and a very different piece indeed. “Erwartung,” like the three other songs in the set, is richly chromatic and winds through several distantly related key areas over its brief course. Truly, it is a far cry from the expressively athematic Erwartung, composed ten years later.

Kringelborn has selected songs that are sometimes overlooked by recording artist, yet she has done a remarkable job interpreting them, crafting an exciting recital. Furthermore, the collaboration between Kringelborn and her accompanist, Malcolm Martineau, is one of sensitivity and true collaboration.

Inspire by Dehmel’s poetry, the Vier Lieder are very compact, both in their succinct settings and in the smaller ensemble required for lieder. Two of the three selections from Strauss oeuvre are also inspired by Dehmel’s poetry; the third is a poem of Otto Julius Bierbaum. Apparently the poet criticized Strauss’ setting as being too sentimental, but the poetry almost seems to demand it, especially “Befreit,” a tender poem from the perspective of a dying man speaking to his beloved wife.

Wagner’s Fünf Gedichte von Mathilde Wesendonck are some of his most frequently performed lieder, specifically the third and fifth selections, which are well known as studies for Tristan und Isolde.

The climax of the album, however, is Wolf’s Vier Mignon-Lieder. Based on Goethe’s tale of Mignon, the daughter of an incestuous relationship between brother and sister, the poems are sung from the perspective of the thirteen-year-old Mignon who is a tortured soul. Indeed this is a situation most beautifully portrayed by Wolf’s emotional setting.

Closing with the three Reger songs makes excellent sense, considering Reger’s vocal writing was deeply influenced by Strauss, Wolf, and Wagner. The three songs presented here come from his sixth and final book of songs published as Schlichte Weisen between 1903 and 1912.

The album goes above and beyond expectations. The published material includes informative liner notes by Richard Stokes in English, German, French and Norwegian, song text in German and English, and photos of Schoenberg, Strauss, Wagner, Wolf and Reger. Special touches include a thoughtful note from Solveig Kringelborn, as well as a reproduction of an oil painting by Norwegian artist Karina Paulen titled "Erwartung," which was commissioned especially for this album. Paulen listened many times to the recording sessions and painted with the sound of the performance in her memory.

Visually and aurally this album is quite stimulating, and a lovely addition to any collection, whether one collects voices, late Romantic music, German Lieder, or excellent music in general.

Megan Jenkins
The Graduate Center- CUNY

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):