Recollection: Haydn Songs

Recollection: Haydn Songs

by Martina Janková


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Recollection: Haydn Songs

Joseph Haydn's songs, long marginalized within his output, have begun to give up some of their secrets thanks to a new variety of interpretations, although the classic readings by Elly Ameling remain hard to touch. This strong Czech disc, with soprano Martina Janková pictured sitting meditatively in front of a stone wall wearing some very sharp leather boots, has an agenda stated in the rather awkward title of the booklet essay: "Beethoven's precursor and an ideal arranger." The title points to the two halves of the program. In their selections from a set of "English Canzonettas" (here called Canzonets) composed during Haydn's second London visit, Janková and Swiss accompanist Gérard Wyss, who plays his part superbly, emphasize more serious material. The familiar song "Piercing Eyes" is omitted, the independence of the piano part is played up, and Janková takes her time and puts some weight on Schubertian pieces such as "The Wanderer" (track 7) and especially "The Spirit's Song" (track 9). Even in the early 1780s collection of Songs by Various Poets Janková and Wyss find an innovative spirit of equality between singer and accompanist, and Janková gives full value to the operatic qualities of these uneven but interesting early examples of the German lied. The idea of Haydn as Beethoven's precursor in the song form may or may not hold up, but these performers make a musically convincing case for it. The "ideal arranger" half of the program, focusing on Haydn's (or an assistant's) arrangements of Scottish and Welsh folk songs is less persuasive; Janková's voice isn't as well suited to these simpler pieces, and, although her English pronunciation is very fine, she isn't quite up to the light Scots dialect in "Up in the Morning Early" (track 18). This is nevertheless a consistently interesting choice for listeners interested in Haydn's songs. Booklet notes are in English, French, German, and Czech, but song texts are in the original language (English or German) and Czech only; monolingual anglophones will be out of luck in the Songs by Various Poets.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/28/2009
Label: Supraphon
UPC: 0099925400521
catalogNumber: 4005
Rank: 279240


  1. The Mermaid's Song ("Now the dancing..."), song for voice & piano, H. 26a/25
  2. Recollection, song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/26 (from English Canzonettas I)
  3. Despair ("The anguish of my bursting heart"), song for voice & piano (English Canzonettas I), H. 26a/28
  4. A Pastoral Song ("My mother bids me bind my hair"), song for voice & keyboard (English Canzonettas I), H. 26a/27
  5. Pleasing Pain, song for voice & piano, H. 26a/29 (from English Canzonettas I)
  6. Fidelity ("While hollow burst the rushing winds"), for voice & keyboard (English canzonettas I), H. 26a/30
  7. The Wanderer, song for voice and keyboard (from English canzonettas, set 2), H.26a/32
  8. O Tuneful Voice, song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/42
  9. The Spirit's Song ("Hark! Hark! what I tell to thee"), song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/41
  10. Eine sehr gewöhnliche Geschichte, song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/4
  11. Die Verlassene ("Hör' auf mein armes Herz"), song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/5
  12. An Thyrsis ("Eilt ihr Schäfer aus den Gründen"), song for voice & piano, H. 26a/8
  13. Die Landlust, song for voice & keyboard (12 Lieder für das Clavier, I), H. 26a/10
  14. Liebeslied ("So lang, ach! schon so lang erfüllt"), song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/11
  15. Die zu späte Ankunft der Mutter, song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/12
  16. Blodau'r grug ("The jocund days"), folk song for voice, violin, cello & keyboard, H. 31b/30
  17. Tros y Garreg (Over the Stone, "Sleep on and dream of heav'n a while"), folk song for voice & piano trio, H. 31b/17
  18. Up in the morning early, folk song for voice, violin, cello & keyboard, H. 31a/28ter
  19. Eryri wen ("The spearmen heard the bugle sound"), folk song for voice, violin, cello & keyboard, H. 31b/20
  20. Hob y deri danno ("Sweet how sweet the hawthorn blooming"), folk song for voice, violin, cello & keyboard, H. 31b/16
  21. Gramachree ("Will ye go to Flanders my Mally, O?"), folk song for voice, violin & keyboard, H. 31a/13
  22. The lone vale ("How sweet this lone vale"), folk song for voice, violin, cello & keyboard, H. 31a/175
  23. Codiad yr Hedydd (The Rising of the Lark, "See O see the breaking day"), folk song for voice & piano trio, H. 31b/1
  24. Y Cymry dedwydd ("Fam'd for our warmth..."), folk song for voice, violin, cello & keyboard, H. 31b/32

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