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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: 3 minutes 17 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)

Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, S272 Second version
1855; LW N3
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Where Robert Schumann drew on the idea of reflections in the water for his setting of Heinrich Heine’s Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, in the song cycle Dichterliebe, Op 48, Liszt paints rippling waters and the fluttering of angels’ wings. In this revised version the waters flow in gentler, less virtuosic manner; one notes again the chiming chords in the treble register indicative of Liszt’s ‘ethereal’ or ‘angelic’ strain of music. Poem and song were born of one of the great building projects of the nineteenth century: the completion of Cologne Cathedral (officially the Hohe Domkirche St Peter und Maria), begun in 1248 but left unfinished in the early sixteenth century. In 1814 the future Prussian monarch Friedrich Wilhelm IV first resolved to see to its completion, and the actual building began in 1842, two years after he assumed the throne. For a time both Liszt and Heine were involved in fundraising efforts for the cathedral, the deeply Catholic Liszt more so than the poet. The image of the Virgin in this song refers to a famous panel on a retable altarpiece painted by the late Gothic painter Stephan Lochner in the 1440s.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2012

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