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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 40 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)

Todeslied der Bojaren
First line:
Leg’ in den Sarg mir mein grünes Gewand
13 October 1841
author of text
1832; Die Bojaren, Act 5 Scene 5

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Todeslied der Bojaren (‘Death song of the Boyars’) comes from Act 5 Scene 5 of Die Bojaren, the first play in the trilogy Alexis (1832) by Karl Leberecht Immermann, who fought against Napoleon at Waterloo. (Boyars were serf-owning aristocrats second only to the tsar’s family in feudal Slavic societies from the tenth to the seventeenth centuries.) The older writer and younger composer had met to discuss a possible operatic collaboration; if Alexis did not inspire Mendelssohn to make an opera from it, he did compose this song a few years later, on 13 October 1841, the result perhaps being the most arctic-austere two pages in all of Mendelssohn. And no wonder: in the play it is sung by the boyars Stephan Gleboff, Basilius Dolgoruki and Abraham Lapuchin as they await execution for treason against the tsar Peter the Great (the trilogy focuses on Peter’s only son, Alexei or Alexis, who was tortured and killed on Peter’s orders in 1718).

from notes by Susan Youens © 2010

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