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Cover
Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg, Benjamin Britten

Ruby Hughes | Joseph Middleton

Nocturnal Variations

  • Type CD
  • Label Champs Hill
  • UPC 5060212591012
  • Catalog number CHRCD 098
  • Release date 07 September 2018
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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.

  • 1
    1
    Nachtstuck D672
     
    05:42
  • 1
    2
    Romanze D797 No.3
     
    03:14
  • 1
    3
    Abendstern D806
     
    02:48
  • 1
    4
    Die Sterne D939
     
    03:28
  • 1
    5
    Im Abendrot D799
     
    03:54
  • 1
    6
    Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen
     
    08:05
  • 1
    7
    Um Mitternacht
     
    07:04
  • 1
    8
    Urlicht
     
    05:44
  • 1
    9
    Vier Gesange Op. 2 Schlafen, Schlafen, nichts, als schlafen
     
    03:20
  • 1
    10
    Vier Gesange Op. 2 Schlafend tragt man mich
     
    01:12
  • 1
    11
    Vier Gesange Op. 2 Nun ich der Riesen Starksen uberwand
     
    00:57
  • 1
    12
    Vier Gesange Op. 2 Warm die Lufte
     
    03:18
  • 1
    13
    Evening from ?This Way to the Tomb?
     
    01:49
  • 1
    14
    Night from ?This Way to the Tomb?
     
    01:47
  • 1
    15
    Um mitternacht
     
    04:30
  • 1
    16
    At the mid hour of night
     
    02:50

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