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Schubert: Lieder With Orchestra
     

Schubert: Lieder With Orchestra

by Claudio Abbado
 
Schubert wrote very few songs with orchestral accompaniment (one of the few, taken from incidental music to von Chézy's play Rosamunde, begins this disc). Indeed, it was not until later in the 19th century that the orchestral song became a popular genre. Yet Schubert's songs are so highly revered that a good number of composers have taken it upon

Overview

Schubert wrote very few songs with orchestral accompaniment (one of the few, taken from incidental music to von Chézy's play Rosamunde, begins this disc). Indeed, it was not until later in the 19th century that the orchestral song became a popular genre. Yet Schubert's songs are so highly revered that a good number of composers have taken it upon themselves to realize the orchestral richness and color suggested by their piano parts. This fascinating program demonstrates the variety of approaches composers have taken over the years, from the conservative, dark-hued garb of Max Reger's versions to the opulent, foppish finery of Jacques Offenbach's. Some of the most successful -- and unobtrusive -- realizations are by Brahms, which is interesting considering that Brahms seemed to prefer piano accompaniment for his own lieder. And then there's Benjamin Britten, who gives us "Die Forelle" (The Trout) as if it were by Mahler. But perhaps the biggest surprise on the disc is that Reger's orchestration of "Erlkönig," for all its essential modesty, is wilder and more dramatic than Liszt's. One may find some of the orchestrations more effective than others, but there is no doubt about the performances by mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and baritone Thomas Quasthoff; they are simply beyond reproach. Claudio Abbado elicits warm, sensitive support from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. A disc to savor.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
How could it be less than ideal? The songs are among the greatest ever written: "Gretchen am Spinnrade," "Erlk�nig," "Nacht und Tr�um." The orchestrators are all superb composers: Brahms, Berlioz, Liszt, Webern, Reger. The singers are as good as it gets right now in German Lieder: the brilliant and sensual Anne-Sofie von Otter and the powerful and insightful Thomas Quasthoff. The conductor is arguably the greatest living conductor and the orchestra is his own trained instrument. How could it be less than ideal? It is ideal. Von Otter is terrifying in "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and terrified in "Erlk�nig," delightfully sly in "An Sylvia" and endlessly rapt in "Nacht und Tr�um." Quasthoff is infinitely touching in "Tr�nenregen" and magnificently imperious as "Prometheus," deeply affectionate in "Du bist die Ruh" and relentlessly heroic in "An Schwager Kronos." Abbado brings out the best in every orchestration, but he particularly shines in the Brahms and sings in Webern and orchestrations. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe plays superbly and DG's sound is wonderful. This is an ideal Schubert recording.
New York Times - David Mermelstein
Despite Ms. von Otter's and Mr. Quasthoff's excellent work, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe may be the CD's real star. Under the baton of Mr. Abbado, who has been a longstanding patron of the orchestra, the musicians play a host of oddities with the same conviction and tonal allure they have so often brought to great music, turning doctored Schubert into something beyond a curiosity.
Gramophone - John Steane
To have such artists as von Otter and Quasthoff with a conductor of Abbado's standing is a privilege indeed, particularly to be valued because it confers on these arrangements a recognition and status which on the whole are richly deserved.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/08/2003
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947158622
catalogNumber:
000004902

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Rosamunde, Fürstin von Cypern, incidental music, D. 797 (Op. 26): No. 3. Romanze
  2. Die Forelle ("In einem Bächlein helle"), song for voice & piano, D. 550 (Op. 32)
  3. Ellens Gesang II ("Jäger, ruhe von der Jagd"), song for voice & piano, D. 838 (Op. 52/2)
  4. Gretchen am Spinnrade ("Meine Ruh'..."), song for voice & piano, D. 118 (Op. 2)
  5. Gesang ("Was ist Sylvia,..."), song for voice & piano, ("An Sylvia"), D. 891 (Op. 106/4)
  6. Im Abendrot ("O, wie schön ist deine Welt"), song for voice & piano, D. 799
  7. Nacht und Träume (Heil'ge Nacht, du sinkest nieder!"), song for voice & piano, D. 827 (Op. 43/2)
  8. Gruppe aus dem Tartarus II ("Horch, wie Murmeln"), song for voice & piano, D. 583 (Op. 24/1)
  9. Erlkönig ("Wer reitet so spät"), song for voice & piano, D. 328 (Op. 1)
  10. Die junge Nonne ("Wie braust durch die Wipfel"), song for voice & piano, D. 828 (Op. 43/1)
  11. Die schöne Müllerin, song cycle, for voice & piano, D. 795 (Op. 25): No. 10. Tränenregen
  12. Winterreise, song cycle for voice & piano, D. 911 (Op. 89): No. 20. Der Wegweiser
  13. Du bist die Ruh, song for voice & piano, D. 776 (Op. 59/3)
  14. Ihr Bild ("Ich stand in dunkeln Träumen"), song for voice & piano (Schwanengesang), D. 957/9
  15. Prometheus ("Bedecke deinen Himmel"), song for voice & piano, D. 674
  16. Memnon ("Den Tag hindurch nur einmal"), song for voice & piano, D. 541 (Op. 6/1)
  17. An Schwager Kronos ("Spu'te dich, Kronos"), song for voice & piano, D369 (Op. 19/1)
  18. An die Musik ("Du holde Kunst..."), song for voice & piano, D. 547 (Op. 88/4)
  19. Erlkönig ("Wer reitet so spät"), song for voice & piano, D. 328 (Op. 1)
  20. Geheimes ("Über meines Liebchens Äugeln"), song for voice & piano, D. 719 (Op. 14/2)
  21. Ständchen ("Leise flehen meine Lieder"), song for voice & piano (Schwanengesang), D. 957/4

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