Cover
Arnold Schoenberg

Abbado/ Wiener Philharmoniker/ Wiener Staatsopernchor /Arnold Schoenberg Chor

Gurrelieder

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  • Type CD
  • Label Australian Eloquence
  • UPC 0028948070558
  • Catalog number ELQ 4807055
  • Release date 28 October 13

About the album

2013 marks the centenary of the first performance of Schoenberg’s – if not the early 20th century’s – essay in gargantuism.
The forces involved were unprecedented: in addition to the soloists (soprano, mezzo-soprano, two tenors, bass and speaker) there were three male-voice choirs and an eight-part mixed choir; and the 150-piece orchestra included 25 woodwind, 11 percussion, 4 harps and 80 strings. In 1903 he had even been compelled to ask the Waldheim–Eberle Press to prepare him some special 48-stave manuscript paper. The reception at the first performance was overwhelming: the ovation lasted fifteen minutes; the composer’s denigrators were silenced, and many members of the audience wept. The title means 'Songs of Gurre', referring to Gurre Castle in Denmark, scene of the medieval love-tragedy revolving around the Danish national legend of the love of the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag (spelt Waldemar by Schoenberg) for his mistress Tove, and her subsequent murder by Valdemar's jealous Queen Helvig.

Its performances and recordings have attracted some of the world’s finest dramatic sopranos – among them Susan Dunn and Jessye Norman, and here, Sharon Sweet. In a survey of this work, Gramophone magazine selected this, Claudio Abbado’s recording as the finest ever made. It was, then, only available for digital download, and is now, after an absence of several years, returns to the CD catalogue in a year which also celebrates Abbado’s 80th birthday.

‘… Abbado's interpretation, is the most Expressionistically detailed of all. The textures shimmer and then glint to reveal Schoenberg's' own sea-change in orchestral writing over a decade … Abbado and the Viennese live dangerously – and when day breaks and that prickly cactus Schoenberg finally blooms, they are unrivalled in splendour.’  Peter Quantrill, Gramophone
 
‘Abbado's pacing of "Gurrelieder's" 110-minute duration may be the best on records: the tension never flags, and the music's atmospheric richness is never short-changed. He also has a terrific cast. Siegfried Jerusalem (Waldemar) sings with warmth, conviction and imagination, and handles the music's heroic line without the barking to which many tenors resort. Sharon Sweet is a luminous Tove, and Marjana Lipovsek sings affectingly as Wood Dove, who relates Tove's murder and Waldemar's grief at her funeral. ’ The Baltimore Sun

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    1
    Part 1 1. Orchestral Prelude
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    2
    2. Waldemar: Nun dämpft die Dämmerung
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    3
    3. Tove: O, wenn des Mondes Strahlen
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    4
    4. Waldemar: Ross! Mein Ross!
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    5
    5. Tove: Sterne jubeln
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    6. Waldemar: So tanzen die Engel
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    7. Tove: Nun sag ich dir zum ersten Mal
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    8. Waldemar: Es ist Mitternachtszeit
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    9. Tove: Du sendest mir einen Liebesblick
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    10. Waldemar: Du wunderliche Tove! 10a. Orchestral Interlude
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    11
    11. Voice of the Wood-dove: Doves of Gurre
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
  • 2
    1
    Part 2: 12. Waldemar: Herrgott, weisst du, was du tatest
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    2
    Part 3: 13. Waldemar: Erwacht, König Waldemars Mannen wert!
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    14. Peasant: Deckel des Sarges Klappert
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    15. Waldemar's Men: Gegrüsst, o König
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    16. Waldemar: Mit Toves Stimme flüstert der Wald
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    17. Klaus the Jester: Ein seltsamer Vogel
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    18. Waldemar: Du strenger Richter
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    19. Waldemar's Men: Der Hahn erhebt den Kopf
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    20. Orchestral Prelude
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    10
    21. Speaker: Herr Gänsefuss, Frau Gänsekraut
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     
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    11
    22. Mixed Chorus: Seht die Sonne
    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
     

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