Hyperion Records

Andersen, Hans Christian (1805-1875)  
Portrait of Hans Christian Andersen on the first German edition of his Werke (1847)

Hans Christian Andersen

born: 1805
died: 1875
country: Denmark

The enormously prolific Hans Christian Andersen was born in Copenhagen. He remains world-famous for his fairytales but he was author of almost every other genre – the German translation of the Werke appeared in 1847 and runs to fifty volumes – plays, novels, poems. travel books and autobiographies. He was born in poverty and gradually fought his way to recognition, drawing on the pain and rejections of his childhood for much of his work including the fairytales.

Schumann and Andersen met for the first time in Leipzig on 22 June 1844. On this occasion Livia Frege (1818-1891), a soprano much admired by Schumann and Mendelssohn, was also invited. The Op 40 songs were performed, and according to Clara (who was surely the pianist) the poet received them ‘with seeming indifference’. In Andersen’s own mémoires he remembered the evening as being ‘poetic’ with only the composer and himself as audience. Clara’s charming presence, and that of Livia Frege, are not mentioned. (It was rumoured that Andersen had been unhappily in love with Jenny Lind, another friend of the Schumanns, but the poet was also certainly tormented by his homosexuality.) In any case, lieder were small beer and he was openly ambitious. Andersen was more interested in interesting Schumann in a much larger project, and proposed his fairytale Die Glücksblume or Die Blume des Glücks, ‘The Flower of Happiness’, as the basis of an opera. Schumann was taken with the idea and the two men corresponded about it. The idea came to nothing, almost certainly because of the mental crisis which overtook the composer in the autumn of 1844. Schumann was aware of the difficulties of Andersen’s personality: a conversation with the Danish composer Gade in 1846 led him to write in his Tagebuch of the poet’s ‘childish vanity’ (it may have taken him some time to come to agree with Clara’s instant reaction) as well as Andersen’s inability, also like a child, to avoid the open expression of opinions that most people would suppress with good manners. In comparison with Dickens the Schumanns escaped lightly. The English novelist admired Andersen’s work and invited him to stay for a fortnight at Gad’s Hill Place in the summer of 1857. The Dane, a combination of Pecksniff and the Ugly Duckling, as Dickens later remarked, stayed five weeks and was counted by the Dickens children the most unbearable guest the family had ever entertained.

from notes by Graham Johnson

Albums
'Grieg: Songs' (CDA67670)
Grieg: Songs
'Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf & other music for children' (CDH55177)
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf & other music for children
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55177  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Schumann: The Complete Songs' (CDS44441/50)
Schumann: The Complete Songs
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £38.50 CDS44441/50  10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 6 – Geraldine McGreevy, Stella Doufexis, Adrian Thompson & Stephan Loges' (CDJ33106)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 6 – Geraldine McGreevy, Stella Doufexis, Adrian Thompson & Stephan Loges
'Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 9 – Ann Murray & Felicity Lott' (CDJ33109)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 9 – Ann Murray & Felicity Lott
Complete works available for download
EDVARD GRIEG  (1843-1907)
Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 Katarina Karnéus (mezzo-soprano), Julius Drake (piano)
SERGE PROKOFIEV  (1891-1953)
The Ugly Duckling, Op 18 New London Orchestra, Ronald Corp (conductor), Penelope Walmsley-Clark (soprano)
ROBERT SCHUMANN  (1810-1856)
Fünf Lieder, Op 40 Stephan Loges (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano)
Lieder-Album für die Jugend, Op 79 Dame Felicity Lott (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Als das Christkind ward zur Welt gebracht  First line to Weihnachtslied, No 16 of Lieder-Album für die Jugend, Op 79 (Schumann)
Der Himmel wölbt sich rein und blau  First line to Märzveilchen, No 1 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Der Soldat  No 3 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Der Spielmann  No 4 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Die Mutter betet herzig und schaut entzückt  First line to Muttertraum, No 2 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Du fatter ej Bølgernes evige Gang 'You do not understand the waves' eternal motion'  First line to En Digters Bryst 'A poet's heart', No 2 of Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
En Digters Bryst 'A poet's heart'  No 2 of Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
Es geht bei gedämpfter Trommel Klang  First line to Der Soldat, No 3 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
Im Städtchen gibt es des Jubels viel  First line to Der Spielmann, No 4 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Jeg elsker Dig 'I love you'  No 3 of Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
Lieder-Album für die Jugend, Op 79 (Schumann)
Märzveilchen  No 1 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
Min Tanke er et mægtigt Fjeld 'My thoughts are like a mighty mountain'  No 4 of Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
Min Tankes Tanke ene Du er vorden 'My thought of thoughts you alone have become'  First line to Jeg elsker Dig 'I love you', No 3 of Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
Muttertraum  No 2 of Fünf Lieder, Op 40 (Schumann)
The Ugly Duckling, Op 18 (Prokofiev)
To brune Øjne 'Two brown eyes'  No 1 of Hjertets melodier 'Melodies of the heart', Op 5 (Grieg)
Weihnachtslied  No 16 of Lieder-Album für die Jugend, Op 79 (Schumann)
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