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Hyperion Records

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Faust and Magaretha. after Ary Scheffer (1795-1858)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDA67055
Recording details: September 1998
Tonstudio Teije van Geest, Sandhausen, Germany
Produced by Teije van Geest
Engineered by Teije van Geest
Release date: February 1999
Total duration: 5 minutes 34 seconds

'Stephan Genz has one of the most beautiful voices around today, used with such authority and imagination that I have found myself playing his Beethoven recital over and over again. I have never heard these songs sung more beautifully. An instant classic' (Gramophone)

'This disc, immaculately recorded, should win many new friends for Beethoven's songs' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Perfectly sung' (The Independent)

'A voice of warm, velvety beauty. A disc to have one reassessing Beethoven as song-writer' (The Guardian)

'As good as any anthology of Beethoven songs on CD' (Classic CD)

'Strongly recommended' (Hi-Fi News)

Adelaide, Op 46
composer
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Michael Schade (tenor), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the case of Adelaide we unusually have a record of the comments made by the original poet. In fact Friedrich Matthison was decidedly underwhelmed by Beethoven’s efforts, remarking that of the several other settings his poem had so far inspired, Beethoven’s was the least sensitive!

The main problem appears to have been the piano part. With the benefit of hindsight it may appear innocent enough, especially when set beside those by, say, Rachmaninov; yet at the time, the solo-sonata style Beethoven adopts for the third verse in particular was perceived as overbalancing the text.

Similarly the dramatic outpourings of that same verse, with its sudden changes of dynamic and the Mozartian Allegro molto final verse, were considered more suited to the opera house than the drawing room. This uncharacteristic outburst of theatricals may have been inspired by Beethoven’s studies with opera maestro Salieri (the legendary Mozart poisoner), although the songs of his old teacher, Christian Neefe (1748-1798), also leant in this direction.

from notes by Julian Haylock © 1999


Other albums featuring this work
'Beethoven: Songs' (GAW21055)
Beethoven: Songs
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £10.50 GAW21055  Last few CD copies remaining   Download currently discounted
'Of ladies and love' (CDA67315)
Of ladies and love
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £10.50 CDA67315  Last few CD copies remaining   Download currently discounted

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