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Track(s) taken from CDA67762

Drei Chöre, Op 6

First line:
Es ist kein Weh auf Erden
1892; four-part mixed voices and piano; dedicated to Adalbert Lindner

Consortium, Andrew-John Smith (conductor), Christopher Glynn (piano)
Recording details: September 2009
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Andrew Mellor
Release date: November 2010
Total duration: 6 minutes 47 seconds

Cover artwork: The Storm (1911) by August Macke (1887-1914)
Saarland Museum, Saarbrucken / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'This disc yields up … secrets too long hidden from the public consciousness. Hyperion deserves a large vote of thanks for bringing both to our attention … [Der Einsiedler] the shifting chromatic sands of this baritone solo, presented with delectable poise by Alexander Learmonth, and its intense accommpaniment, tackled with breathtaking sensitivity by pianist Christopher Glynn … the second secret here is the four-year-old choir, Consortium … their singing is sensitive and technically impressive. Andrew-John Smith draws from them an infinitely subtle dynamic range and some impeccably moulded phrasing which certainly serves Reger uncommonly well. One suspects this repertoire could have found no finer exponents to bring it to public attention' (Gramophone)

'Reger's choral music, like so much of his output, is too little known. So Consortium's new disc … is to be warmly welcomed … I found this disc most enjoyable … the recording is of Hyperion's customary excellence, with performances to match' (Choir & Organ)

'If there are still a few timid souls out there who fear Max Reger's music as dark forests of gnarled and knotty chromatic counterpoint, here's the CD to conquer their prejudices … these wistful, autumnal choral works caress the ear and the soul' (International Record Review)

'One of those recordings that immediately stops you in your tracks. The performances are fine indeed, but more than anything, it's the music itself that strikes you—it's both utterly unique and breathtakingly beautiful … [The Hermit] the voices slip and slide smoothly through unexpected keys, gently encouraged by a breakaway baritone soloist. It's luxurious, exotic, unusual and so very evocative … [Three Six-Part Songs] it's here that Reger's music starts to move from inherent yearning to palpable despair. To bring that off, you need a choir that isn't just technically accomplished but can also conjure intense drama, and Andrew-John Smith's group is perfectly suited to it. The voices blend well but are never overly polite; this is passionate rather than devotional, and you sense the fine gradations of the composer's emotional intensity … unmissable' (Classic FM Magazine)

'A wonderful disc this, and a testament to yet another undervalued dimension of the artistry of Max Reger. Very few of the common complaints about Reger's music apply here: the music is consistently inspired, often light, elegant and wholly free from the stodginess that blights so many of his organ works' (MusicWeb International)
The Op 6 songs for mixed four-part choir and piano were composed in 1892 (though not performed until much later), and deploy a simpler style with clear debts to the choral music of Brahms. The first song uses a text by Anton Müller (1792–1843); the second, much briefer though still expansive in style, illustrates the theme of night in Engel’s poetry with melodic lines that regularly plunge to the bottom of the vocal register of each part. As with Op 39, Reger draws on Lenau for the final text; a further intriguing link with the Op 39 set is that this Abendlied, too, is in E major. In both songs, the key has a radiance that, we may assume, Reger associates with evening—though in Op 6, the vocal parts end in a state of harmonic ambiguity, and it is only the substantial piano epilogue (a device perhaps inspired by Schubert) that returns us to the stability of the home key.

from notes by Michael Downes © 2010

Les lieder de l’op. 6 pour chœur mixte à quatre parties et piano furent composés en 1892 (mais leur exécution ne vint que bien plus tard) et déploient un style simplifié, clairement redevable à la musique chorale brahmsienne. Le premier lied utilise un texte de Anton Müller (1792– 1843); le deuxième, bien plus court mais de style toujours expansif, illustre le thème de la nuit, contenu dans la poésie d’Engel, par des lignes mélodiques plongeant régulièrement dans les tréfonds du registre vocal de chaque partie. Comme dans l’op. 39, le dernier lied emprunte son texte à Lenau; autre lien intrigant avec l’op. 39: cet Abendlied est, lui aussi, en mi majeur. Dans les deux cas, cette tonalité a un côté radieux que Reger associe, peut-on supposer, au soir—encore que, dans l’op. 6, les parties vocales terminent dans un état harmoniquement ambigu; par ailleurs, c’est la seule fois qu’un épilogue pianistique d’importance (un procédé d’inspiration peut-être schubertienne) nous ramène à la stabilité du ton principal.

extrait des notes rédigées par Michael Downes © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Die Lieder des Opus 6 für gemischten vierstimmigen Chor und Klavier wurden 1892 komponiert, aber erst sehr viel später aufgeführt, und verwenden einen einfacheren, deutlich von Brahms’ Chormusik beeinflussten Stil. Das erste Lied ist die Vertonung eines Gedichts von Anton Müller (1792–1843). Das zweite ist zwar kürzer, aber immer noch ausladend im Stil und vermittelt das Thema der Nacht in Engels Gedicht mit Melodielinien, die regelmäßig in die tiefsten Tiefen aller Gesangsregister absinken. Wie im Opus 39 bezieht Reger seinen Text für das dritte Lied von Lenau; eine weitere interessante Verbindung zum Opus 39 ist die für dieses Abendlied ebenfalls gewählte Tonart E-Dur, die in beiden Liedern ein von Reger vermutlich mit dem Abend assoziiertes Strahlen bewirkt, wenngleich die Gesangsstimmen im Opus 6 in harmonischer Ungewissheit enden. Erst der reichhaltige (vielleicht von Schubert inspirierte) Epilog des Klavierparts bringt die Stabilität der Haupttonart zurück.

aus dem Begleittext von Michael Downes © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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