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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
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: 6 minutes 8 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)

Die drei Zigeuner, S320 First version
First line:
Drei Zigeuner fand ich einmal
completed on 17 June 1860; LW N62
author of text

Introduction  EnglishDeutsch
The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Hungarian style known as verbunkos, born of military recruiting music and closely associated with the virtuosity of Hungarian gypsy bands, is on display in Die drei Zigeuner, complete with bokázó figures (clicking of heels), hallgató (free melodies without words), garlands of triplet rhythms, the so-called ‘gypsy scale’, and alternating slow and lively tempi. No wonder Liszt was drawn to this poem: its poet, Nikolaus Lenau (born Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau in what was then Hungary and is now part of Romania) created three musician-personæ whose instruments—fiddle, pipes and cimbalom—Liszt mimics brilliantly in the piano. In a letter to Carolyne on 27 May 1860, Liszt wrote: ‘In addition, the whim suddenly took me, without rhyme or reason, to set Lenau’s Zigeuner—and at the piano I quickly found the whole outline’; he finished it on 17 June.

from notes by Susan Youens 2012

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