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Hyperion Records

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Moonlight Walk by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67667
Recording details: January 2008
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: February 2009
Total duration: 2 minutes 26 seconds

'There's a special refinement here that Fischer-Dieskau did not always capture … unexpected notes of smoky mystery, youthful defiance and solidarity with the working man characterise the settings of Richard Dehmel' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Strauss is so closely associated with the soprano voice that it is useful to be reminded how his rhapsodically lyrical style can be beautifully suited to baritone and bass too … both [Maltman and Miles] sing with great sensitivity and imaginative word-colouring' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Maltman has the lion's share, his molasses-rich lower range and walnut-polished upper melting into the ethereal Am Ufer and finding gruff humour in Das Lied des Steinkopfers. Alastair Miles' robust, sensitive bass excelts in Im Spätboot, perfectly capturing the eerie, dark atmosphere of Strauss's weary boat passenger' (The Times)

'Roger Vignoles can do no wrong in my book, his playing as adept and fresh as ever, strolling through his prime… this is a worthy issue … Strauss deserves no less' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

Erschaffen und Beleben, Op 87 No 2
First line:
Hans Adam war ein Erdenkloß
1922; written for and originally dedicated to Michael Bohnen; published with the three Rückert settings of Op 87 in 1945 with a new dedication to Hans Hotter
author of text
West-östlicher Divan

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The odd man out in the Opus 87 group, Erschaffen und Beleben was composed in 1922 as a vehicle for Michael Bohnen, a bass at the Berlin Opera, to whom Strauss dedicated it ‘with utmost admiration and esteem’. However he subsequently (in 1945) re-dedicated it to Hans Hotter, packaging it together with the three Rückert songs, perhaps in order to provide some kind of light relief—the scherzo, as it were, of a four-movement song sonata.

A rumbustious drinking-song from Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan (also set by Hugo Wolf), it is characterized by enormous leaps in the vocal line, and comic effects such as the sneezes in the piano part as the Almighty breathes life into the recumbent ‘Hans Adam’, and the rising vocal arpeggios that depict the fermenting of yeast in the barrel. ‘Hafiz’ was the nom-de-plume of the medieval poet Shams-ud-din Mohammed, who habitually signed off with a reference to himself, and the final coda is a hymn of praise both to his poetry and to the life-giving properties of alcohol.

from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2009

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