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Cover

Olivier Darbellay

A Matter of Heart

  • Type CD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917277128
  • Catalog number CC 72771
  • Release date 06 October 2017
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About the album

By 1800, several songs with horn, harp or piano accompaniment had been written, but it was not until the heyday of the romantic art song – its main exponent being Franz Schubert – that the combination of voice, horn and piano came into flower. From the nineteenth century alone, around 200 songs with obbligato horn parts survive.

When Franz Schubert composed Auf dem Strom, D.943 (“On the river”), in 1828, he had created a masterpiece in the genre of the so-called concert song. Schubert’s circle of friends in Vienna comprised many young composers, including Franz Lachner. “Die Seejungfern”(“The mermaids”) was written on 1 January 1833 in Vienna. “Herbst” (“Autumn”), was written earlier in either 1830 or 1831. Another composer who lived in Vienna at the same time as Franz Schubert was Conradin Kreutzer (1780-1849). His two songs with horn accompaniment, of which “Das Mühlrad”(“The mill wheel”) became very famous, whilst the later “Ständchen” (“Serenade”) is hardly performed, both pay homage to the fashion of the time, but also reveal a well-versed composer at every turn.

Carl Kossmaly (1812-1893), born in Wrocław, was well-regarded during the nineteenth century as a composer, conductor, music writer and teacher. For decades he contributed to the “Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, founded by Robert Schumann, making his mark as an antipode of the “New German School” of composers including Wagner and Liszt. Only a smattering of his compositions has been published, such as “Fischermädchen”(“Fisher girl”), and “Sehnsucht”(“Longing”).

Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873) had a chequered life; his works were also published under the name of Edgar Mannsfeldt. Alongside operas, oratorios and orchestral works his oeuvre also comprises several songs, including “Jägers Abschied.

In 1956 Benjamin Britten created, in collaboration with the poet Edith Sitwell, a musico-literary programme for the Aldeburgh Festival. This programme, entitled “The Heart of the Matter” centred around Canticle III, a work for Tenor, Horn and Piano. In 1983, Peter Pears revised and revived the work, and it is in this version that “The Heart of the Matter” has been performed since.

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