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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Angelika Kirchschlager by Sim Canetty-Clarke (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67934
Recording details: October 2011
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Simon Kiln
Engineered by Arne Akselberg
Release date: July 2012
Total duration: 4 minutes 41 seconds

'Finding a wide palette of colours within her naturally warm mezzo, Kirchschlager is in her element … this recital should open many ears to the richness and variety of Liszt's songs. Recording and presentation are first-class' (Gramophone)

'The more one hears of Liszt's songs, the more one wonders why they have been so rarely performed … Kirchschlager's rich, resonant mezzo finds beauties everywhere on this disc, from heights of drama to intimacies of reflection, and at every turn Drake is with her' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a fascinating and rewarding recital, which explores Liszt’s oeuvre from the 1840s to 1870s … the grainy and distinctive timbre of Kirchschlager’s vivid mezzo-soprano is well suited to this highly charged emotional world, and Drake’s playing is eloquently impassioned without sinking to fortissimo ham' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Hyperion's retrospective of Liszt's complete songs [is] one of the most important recording projects of recent years … Kirchschlager is exquisite and intensely dramatic by turns … Drake is outstanding throughout' (The Guardian)

'The high expectations roused by Volume 1 of Hyperion's compete Liszt songs … are more than met with this second instalment … the programme is excellently chosen to showcase Liszt's versatility as a master of Romantic song … Kirchschlager's extraordinary dramatic gifts are displayed in the two longest songs here, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher and Die drei Zigeuner … rich new levels of meaning are revealed … Kirchschlager and Drake deliver performances that set the beauty and inventiveness of each song in high relief … not to be missed' (International Record Review)

Der du von dem Himmel bist, S279 First version
1842; LW N10
author of text
12 February 1776; Wandrers Nachtlied I

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The manuscript for Goethe’s ‘Wandrers Nachtlied I’, or Der du von dem Himmel bist, records that it was conceived ‘On the Ettersberg hillside. 12 February 1776’. The poem begins with a series of subordinate clauses, an acclamation that takes time to reach the heart of the matter: the persona’s plea to be done with Faustian striving and find peace. The linguistic solecism whereby ‘pain and joy’ are bound together by a masculine article, despite the feminine gender of the second noun, affirms that pleasure and pain are opposite poles of the same thing—the human condition? Liszt, who knew what it was to pray for the soul’s peace, created four settings of this poem between 1842 and 1870 (the fourth version is incomplete); typically, the first version is the longest, beginning with a brooding introduction in the piano before the singer enters with a quiet prayer. Thereafter, we alternate between invocations of ‘sweet peace’ and tonal convulsions of anguish (‘I am weary of this restlessness!’) in which the persona repeats the words of this brief poem over and over. The urgency of this plea cannot be doubted.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2012

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