Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

by Stephen Loges

CD

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Overview

Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

This album features songs composed by Hugo Wolf (with lyrics by Eduard Mörike) sung by four talented, unique artists: soprano Sophie Daneman, mezzo-soprano Anna Grevelius, tenor James Gilchrist, and baritone Stephan Loges. Wolf's lieder cover a wide range of emotions here, some of which are interpreted more successfully than others. Soprano Daneman is at her best in "Er ists," where her high voice is in place, sweet and flexible. She also shines in the very expressive and subtle "Das verlassene Mägdlein," where she draws the listener in as she savors words like "geträumet habe" and rolls her Rs wonderfully. Anna Grevelius' singing is consistent and wonderful throughout the album, a mature, full sound with excellent shaping of phrases as one can hear in "An eine Äolsharfe" and playful scoops that are perfect for an elfin song like "Elfenlied," where she recalls Damrau or Kirchschlager. The best of tenor James Gilchrist can be heard in pieces like "Der Tambour," where the artist is truly in character, even if the technique is occasionally inconsistent. He is well matched to the tessitura of "Auf einer Wanderung," with its sprightly beginning both on the piano and in the voice. In the concluding "Karwoche," he is reverent and especially tender when singing in his high voice. Baritone Stephan Loges is a native German speaker, so it is no surprise that his clear sound has wonderful mastery of the language, such as in "Um Mitternacht," where he also demonstrates his excellent vocal control. Throughout the album, Sholto Kynoch's piano is in the wings, so to speak, supporting the musicians without overtaking the spotlight, and yet capably conveying the emotions required of each piece. Given that the subject matter and texts of so many of these pieces is passionate, grieving, romantic, even sexual, one cannot help but wonder why there is not more emotional depth explored in some of these lieder. "Verborgenheit" could be sung out more fully, for example, and the soprano's more successful songs are those that are sweeter in character. In sum, there is a certain energy that is lacking throughout the album, on different pieces for different artists. This is an energy that could be generated by greater dynamic contrasts, sharpened diction, and a stronger connection to character. So while there is no question about the talent of these artists here, some listeners may find this CD pleasant, rather than stirring or exciting. ~ V. Vasan

Product Details

Release Date: 09/13/2011
Label: Stone Records
UPC: 5060192780086
catalogNumber: 80086

Tracks

  1. Karwoche ("O Woche! Zeugin heiliger Beschwerde"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  2. Schlafendes Jesuskind ("Sohn der Jungfrau"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  3. In der Frühe ("Kein Schlaf noch kühlt das Auge"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  4. Auf ein altes Bild ("In grüner Landschaft Sommerflor"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  5. Seufzer ("Dein Liebesfeuer"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  6. Auf eine Christblume II ("Im Winterboden schläft"). song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  7. Auf eine Christblume I ("Tochter des Walds"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  8. Um Mitternacht ("Gelassen stieg die Nacht"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  9. Zitronenfalter im April ("Grausame Frühlingssohne"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  10. Der Gärtner ("Auf ihrem Leibrösslein"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  11. Elfenlied ("Bei Nacht im Dorf der Wächter reif"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  12. Auf einer Wanderung ("In ein freudliches Städtchen"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  13. Agnes ("Rosenzeit, wie schnell vorbei"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  14. Im Frühling ("Hier lieg ich"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  15. Verborgenheit ("Lass, o Welt, o lass mich sein"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  16. An eine Äolsharfe ("Angelehnt an die Efeuwand"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  17. Fussreise ("Am frischgeschnittnen Wanderstab"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  18. Nimmersatte Liebe ("So ist die Lieb!"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  19. Begegnung ("Was doch heut Nacht ein Sturm"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  20. Das verlassene Mägdlein ("Früh, wann die Hähne krähn"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  21. Der Tambour ("Wenn meine Mutter hexen könnt"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  22. Jägerlied ("Zierlich ist des Vogels Tritt"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  23. Ein Stündlein wohl vor tag ("Derveil ich schlafend lag"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  24. Der Knabe und das Immlein ("Im Weinberg auf der Höhe"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  25. Der Genesene an die Hoffnung ("Tödlich graute mir der Morgen"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)
  26. Er ist's ("Frühling lässt sein blaues Band"), song for voice & piano (Mörike Lieder)

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