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Hyperion Records

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Amalfi (1836 watercolour after a pencil drawing done in situ 1831) by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. M. Deneke Mendelssohn c. 21, fol. 123r
Track(s) taken from CDA67753
Recording details: November 2008
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2010
Total duration: 2 minutes 48 seconds

'Eugene Asti plays with a refreshingly light touch and a lively sense of rhythm' (Gramophone)

‘Hyperion’s series of Mendelssohn’s neglected vocal pieces continues to spread enchantment, thanks in part to young British talent. Katherine Broderick and Hannah Morrison, wonderfully clear and expressive sopranos, top the line-up gathered by Eugene Asti … genius is frequent and Mendelssohn’s charm almost constant’ (The Independent)

Sanft weh'n im Hauch der Abendluft
composer
28 December 1822
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The words of Sanft weh’n im Hauch der Abendluft come from the eighteenth-century poet Friedrich von Matthisson, whose poems were praised by Schiller for their melancholy sweetness and tender descriptions of Nature. Schubert set this poem to music in 1815 under the poet’s own title Totenkranz für ein Kind (‘Funeral Garland for a Child’), and Mendelssohn’s setting followed seven years later in December 1822. Hearing this song, we remember that infant mortality in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was at rates we can barely comprehend nowadays; the mind shudders away from the statistics. Towards the end of this sensitive, extended setting, we hear the influence of Baroque music when the grief-stricken parents sing of wandering without relief through the world’s chaos; here, the vocal line is like a chorale cantus firmus beneath which the piano sinks by degrees to a hymn-like ending.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2010

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