Christoph Prégardien / Michael Gees
Dichterliebe Op. 48 / Lenau-Lieder und Requiem Op. 90 / Wesendonck Lieder
- Type SACD
- Label Challenge Classics
- UPC 0608917278828
- Catalog number CC 72788
- Release date 06 September 2019
About the album
Robert Schumann was the most confessional of composers. And many of the songs from his great Liederjahr of 1840 were in essence love songs to Clara Wieck. In them he could express overtly what had been merely implicit in his piano music: his fears and longing, his passion and devotion, his pain at their separation, his vision of sexual and spiritual fulfilment, and his recurrent fears of losing her.
In Dichterliebe (‘Poet’s Love’) Op.48, he turns again to the pithy verses of Heinrich Heine’s Buch der Lieder.
On one level, Dichterliebe can be heard as his most piercing recreation of the fluctuating emotions he had experienced during his long courtship of Clara.
Characteristically of Schumann, it is the piano that controls the musical narrative in Dichterliebe.
Characteristic, too, of Schumann’s 1840 songs is the piano postlude that encapsulates and deepens a song’s meaning. Dichterliebe takes this to the furthest extreme.
Schumann’s late Lieder have too often been dismissed as the products of an increasingly tired, sick mind. True, they tend to be more elusive than the songs of 1840, with piano parts that are often self-effacing and/or tortuously chromatic. But there are more than enough fine songs among them to challenge the cliché that Schumann’s genius declined irredeemably after the early 1840s. If the songs of 1849-52 are sometimes less ‘melodious and direct’ than their predecessors, that does not automatically make them inferior.
In August 1850, Schumann set six poems by the unstable and ultimately insane Austrian poet Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850), whom he had briefly met in Vienna in 1839. Like Schumann and Wolf, Lenau spent his last years in an asylum, his mind destroyed by syphilis. Schumann was ill and dejected at the time, and his mood is reflected in these poems of satiety, oppressiveness and transience.
As a tribute to the dying poet (who he initially believed had already died), Schumann appended to the Lenau group one of his rare religious songs: Requiem, a setting of Héloïse’s lament for Peter Abelard. For this quasi-operatic music of solemn grandeur and mounting exaltation, Schumann devised a swirling keyboard accompaniment that takes its cue from the poem’s image of angelic harps.
During the autumn of 1857 Wagner began a set of five songs to poems by Mathilde Wesendonck, written in evident imitation of Wagner’s hothouse Tristan manner – one of the very rare occasions when he set words other than his own. The Wesendonck Lieder, as they are now known, were revised and completed in 1858, and first performed as a cycle in July 1862 at a country house belonging to the publisher Franz Schott.
Each of the songs shares with Tristan the concept of ‘endless melody’, a saturated, dissolving chromaticism – the musical emblem of unstilled desire – and a feverish, oppressive atmosphere.
11Dichterliebe, Op.48 Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
12Dichterliebe, Op.48 Aus meinen Tränen sprießen
13Dichterliebe, Op.48 Die Rose, die Lilie
14Dichterliebe, Op.48 Wenn ich in deine Augen seh'
15Dichterliebe, Op.48 Ich will meine Seele tauchen
16Dichterliebe, Op.48 Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome
17Dichterliebe, Op.48 Ich grolle nicht
18Dichterliebe, Op.48 Und wüssten's die Blumen
19Dichterliebe, Op.48 Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen
110Dichterliebe, Op.48 Hör' ich das Liedchen klingen
111Dichterliebe, Op.48 Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen
112Dichterliebe, Op.48 Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen
113Dichterliebe, Op.48 Ich hab' im Traum geweinet
114Dichterliebe, Op.48 Allnächtlich im Traume
115Dichterliebe, Op.48 Aus alten Märchen winkt es
116Dichterliebe, Op.48 Die alten, bösen Lieder
1175 Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 (Wesendonck-Lieder) Der Engel
1185 Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 (Wesendonck-Lieder) Stehe still!
1195 Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 (Wesendonck-Lieder) Im Treibhaus
1205 Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 (Wesendonck-Lieder) Schmerzen
1215 Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 (Wesendonck-Lieder) Träume
1226 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Lied eines Schmiedes
1236 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Meine Rose
1246 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Kommen und Scheiden
1256 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Die Sennin
1266 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Einsamkeit
1276 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Der schwere Abend
1286 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op.90 Requiem
We are proud to announce that the outstanding recording of Winterreise by Christoph Prégardien and Michael Gees was nominated for the 56th Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo! You can watch the trailer by clicking on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-7BLF0uKJ4 Winterreise Prégardien and Gees have performed Winterreise numerous times together and Prégardien has released Winterreise before with Andreas Staier on fortepiano in 1996. The release won multiple awards. Nonetheless, this new release of Winterreise adds in many ways to this former release. Prégardien’s ...