Arnold Schoenberg: Six Songs for Soprano and Orchestra

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Having exhausted Igor Stravinsky's conductible repertoire for Naxos, conductor Robert Craft has turned his attention to Arnold Schoenberg; Naxos' Schoenberg: Six Songs for Soprano and Orchestra is already Volume 7 in his Schoenberg series. Of course, Craft has been here before in most instances, mainly through the incomplete, though comprehensive, Schoenberg series he did for CBS Masterworks in 1962-1964. That series was marked, in some cases, by unfamiliarity with the material and the vagaries of working with pickup choruses and instrumental groups specifically assembled for the recording, not to mention CBS' indifferent album mastering during that period, which could...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Having exhausted Igor Stravinsky's conductible repertoire for Naxos, conductor Robert Craft has turned his attention to Arnold Schoenberg; Naxos' Schoenberg: Six Songs for Soprano and Orchestra is already Volume 7 in his Schoenberg series. Of course, Craft has been here before in most instances, mainly through the incomplete, though comprehensive, Schoenberg series he did for CBS Masterworks in 1962-1964. That series was marked, in some cases, by unfamiliarity with the material and the vagaries of working with pickup choruses and instrumental groups specifically assembled for the recording, not to mention CBS' indifferent album mastering during that period, which could render outstandingly well engineered efforts dim sounding and crackly. These recordings, made at Abbey Road Studios between 2003-2006, improve on those earlier ones in every way; soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge is certainly a step up from Ithaca College soloist Irene Jordan in the "Six Songs, Op. 8," for soprano and orchestra, significant early Schoenberg works that relate to, and to some extent move stylistically forward from, Schoenberg's better-known "Gurre-Lieder." Craft's "Kol Nidre, Op. 39," from the early '60s for Columbia was a genuine failure; this version, featuring narrator David Wilson-Johnson, is quite good, as are the excerpts from "Moses und Aron," a work Craft has never recorded before. There is a surprise in "Ei, du Lütte," a Brahmsian nugget from 1895 that appears new to the recorded catalog. "Glück" from the "Six Pieces for Male Chorus a cappella, Op. 35," is revealed to be a high-spirited and fun piece that looks forward to expanded choral techniques that would emerge in the 1950s, rather than the featureless jumble of voices on the earlier Columbia Craft recording. The only selection that falls a little short is "Friede auf Erden, Op. 13"; this is one of Schoenberg's most accessible works and is usually done with a tendency toward ethereal transparency; Craft adopts a heavier, more aggressive stance, and it is hard to say whether this approach works for it. Nevertheless, both in the 1960s and 2000s, Robert Craft's greatest strength is in his handling of choral music, and this entry contains a good selection of those Schoenberg works that the average listener would rather find less than punishing; on this basis alone, it is easy to recommend Naxos' Schoenberg: Six Songs for Soprano and Orchestra.
Dallas Morning News - Lawson Taitte
[Grade: A-] Obscure but important works by one of the greatest and most misunderstood composers, all in excellent performances.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/30/2007
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313252527
  • Catalog Number: 8557525
  • Sales rank: 192,513

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–6 Orchestral Songs (6) Op. 8 - Arnold Schoenberg & Robert Craft (25:27)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Conducted byRobert Craft
    Performed byRobert Craft, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Jennifer Welch-Babidge
    1. 1Natur
    2. 2Das Wappenschild
    3. 3Sehnsucht
    4. 4Nie ward ich, Herrin, müd
    5. 5Voll jener Süsse
    6. 6Wenn Vöglein klagen
  2. 7 Peace on Earth (Friede auf Erden), for chorus & instruments ad lib, Op. 13 - Arnold Schoenberg & Robert Craft (8:32)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Conducted byRobert Craft
    Performed byRobert Craft, Simon Joly Chorale
  3. 8–13 Pieces (6) for male chorus, Op. 35 - Arnold Schoenberg & Robert Craft (15:05)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Conducted byRobert Craft
    Performed byRobert Craft, Simon Joly Chorale
    1. 8Hemmung
    2. 9Das Gesetz
    3. 10Ausdrucksweise
    4. 11Glück
    5. 12Landsknechte
    6. 13Verbundenheit
  4. 14 Ei du Lütte, partsong for male chorus - Arnold Schoenberg & Robert Craft (1:01)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Conducted byRobert Craft
    Performed byRobert Craft, Simon Joly Chorale
  5. 15 Kol Nidre, for narrator, chorus & orchestra, Op. 39 - David Wilson Johnson & Arnold Schoenberg (13:12)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Conducted byRobert Craft
    Performed byDavid Wilson Johnson, Robert Craft, New Philharmonia Orchestra, David Wilson-Johnson, Simon Joly Chorale
  6. 16–18 Moses und Aron, biblical drama in 3 acts (unfinished) - Arnold Schoenberg & Robert Craft (15:04)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Conducted byRobert Craft
    Performed byRobert Craft, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Simon Joly Chorale, Jennifer Welch-Babidge
    1. 16Bars 320 - 457
    2. 17Bars 671 - 820: Chorus of the Seventy Elders / The Four Maidens
    3. 18Bars 824 - 912: The Dance
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Craft Primary Artist
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