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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: 1 minutes 48 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)

Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S314
1852; LW N49
author of text
from Amaranth

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Es muss ein Wunderbares sein is one of Liszt’s most popular songs, given its merger of sophisticated harmonies and its spare texture, devoid of pyrotechnics. The Bavarian poet Oscar von Redwitz-Schmölz became famous in his twenties for his sentimental epic Amaranth from which the Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (later Queen of Prussia and German Empress) extracted two stanzas in July 1852 for Liszt to set to music. Fifteen years later, in 1867, Liszt met Redwitz-Schmölz and wrote to Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein (1819–1887, the most important woman in Liszt’s life from the time of their meeting in 1847 to his death) to say: ‘His person pleases me more than I would have expected. One generally imagines him wholly steeped in piety—with lowered eyes and a timid manner of speaking, intermingled with sighs! Not he!’ The penultimate harmony on ‘sagen’ is a final touch of chromatic expressivity in this small gem.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2012

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