Ruby Hughes | Joseph Middleton
- Type CD
- Label Champs Hill
- UPC 5060212591012
- Catalog number CHRCD 098
- Release date 07 September 2018
About the album
Soprano Ruby Hughes releases her debut solo recital disc with pianist Joseph Middleton, an anthology of night songs by Mahler, Britten, Berg and Schubert. Ruby Hughes introduces the programme:
I have always been fascinated by the various moods of night, from the astonishing drama of storms and sunsets to the tranquillity of darkness: a time for contemplation, meditation, sleep and dreams.
Night has at times evoked darker, more foreboding thoughts and philosophical questions concerning death and existence. Alone at night, the state of mind can be awestruck and frightening under the dark canopy of the universe. At other times it feels safe and calm.
These four composers (Schubert, Mahler, Berg and Britten) have been favourites of mine from a very young age. I love their melodies and modulations, their subtlety and passion as well as their genius for setting and enhancing profoundly moving words. They all composed so lyrically for the voice. Their night songs have at times an otherworldly sense of mystery, as in for example Mahler’s Urlicht, Schubert’s Im Abendrot and Abendstern, Berg’s Warm die Lüfte and Britten’s Um Mitternacht. Their songs also work brilliantly when programmed together, revealing influences such as Schubert’s on Mahler, and Schubert’s and Berg’s on Britten.
Alban Berg’s songs achieve a wonderful blend of his modernist musical language with all he inherited from the romantics (i.e. Schubert through to Mahler). Britten too has the power to combine ancient and modern influences to superb effect.
12Romanze D797 No.3
14Die Sterne D939
15Im Abendrot D799
16Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen
19Vier Gesange Op. 2 Schlafen, Schlafen, nichts, als schlafen
110Vier Gesange Op. 2 Schlafend tragt man mich
111Vier Gesange Op. 2 Nun ich der Riesen Starksen uberwand
112Vier Gesange Op. 2 Warm die Lufte
113Evening from ?This Way to the Tomb?
114Night from ?This Way to the Tomb?
116At the mid hour of night