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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Matthew Polenzani by Sim Canetty-Clarke (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67782
Recording details: February 2010
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2010
Total duration: 6 minutes 19 seconds

'Polenzani is evidently a tenor of the finest quality: a lyric voice, sweet and ingratiating, with the capacity to ring out excitingly, gloriously easy on high but with a perfectly adequate body to the tone in its middle and lower registers. He is firm and even, pleasingly expressive … he sings with warmth, intelligence and conviction, matching the superb playing of his pianist Julius Drake' (Gramophone)

'Polenzani remains an extraordinarily communicative Lieder singer, possessed of an agile and flexible voice of tremendous versatility. In the most intimate of these settings, as well as in the quasi-operatic ones, Polenzani and Drake create performances that are at once thoughtful, richly atmospheric and never less than compelling … this auspicious inauguration of the series whets the appetite for more' (International Record Review)

'This stupendous disc, issued ahead of the Liszt bicentenary next year, marks the start of Hyperion's survey of his complete songs, still a grey area for many despite past attempts by major artists such as Brigitte Fassbaender and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to rehabilitate them … as with so much of his music, their difficulty in performance is to be found in their emotional and expressive extremes. The challenges are more than met here, with Polenzani doing things in songs such as Der Fischerknabe or Pace Non Trovo that you never thought were possible for a human voice, while Drake's intensity is total and unswerving' (The Guardian)

Kling leise, mein Lied, S301 First version
composer
30 March 1848; LW N42
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Kling leise, mein Lied was composed on 30 March 1848 to words by a prolific Austrian journalist and writer Johannes Nordmann, whose Gedichte of 1846 had garnered the censors’ disapproval for political reasons. One of Liszt’s favourite singers in Weimar, the tenor Franz Götze, particularly pleased the composer with his performances of this somewhat paradoxical lover’s serenade (the persona declares that he does not wish to awaken the beloved from her dream). For the simplified second version, Liszt eliminated the most erotic verse about the sweetheart’s nightgown clinging to her limbs and breasts. In the idiosyncratic formal structure, tailored to the composer’s reading of the poem, the refrain to the title words is set to a beautifully tender cantilena, while an interior section in a different metre and tempo (a song-within-a-song) touches upon one key after another in Liszt’s typically adventurous manner, however gentle the atmosphere.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2010

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