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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67315
Recording details: December 2001
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: August 2002
Total duration: 19 minutes 19 seconds

'this is singing which is always alive, interesting, and personal … a fascinating record' (Gramophone)

'[Schade] sings Strauss’s Cäcilie and a wonderfully hushed Zueignung as though he and Martineau were the first to discover their ecstasy' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A fascinating selection of songs that exploits Michael Schade's versatile tenor' (The Daily Telegraph)

'What a joy it is to listen to Michael Schade! … This consistently bold, exhilarating recording is a must-have for aficionados of art-song repertoire and confirmed romantics alike' (Opera News)

'highly accomplished technique and rare vocal artistry … ideally accompanied by pianist Malcolm Martineau' (ClassicsToday.com)

'On peut considérer ce récital comme une bonne introduction à un siècle d’art vocal et littéraire' (Répertoire, France)

Tre Sonetti di Petrarca, S270 First version
composer
1842/6; LW N14
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Matthew Polenzani (tenor), Julius Drake (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Tre sonetti di Petrarca were the direct result of Liszt’s sojourn in Italy during 1838–9; we learn that he and Marie d’Agoult read Petrarch and Dante together. The origins of the poetry are legendary: on Good Friday, 6 April, 1327, the great fourteenth-century poet Petrarch saw a woman named Laura in the church of Sainte-Claire d’Avignon, and his passion for her is celebrated in the 366 poems of his Rime sparse (Scattered rhymes, later known as Il Canzoniere / The Songbook). The songs—arias in all but name—exist in both a pre-Weimar version for tenor and a later revision for mezzo-soprano or baritone; we hear the virtuosic first version on this disc. The first sonnet, ‘Pace non trovo’, is packed with Petrarch’s characteristic oxymorons, antitheses, and dichotomies (staring without eyes, crying without voice, burning and freezing alike) that bespeak the paradoxes of love. For such imagery, Liszt begins with an agitated succession of his most advanced harmonies followed by extreme contrasts between dramatic-operatic outbursts and ecstatic lyricism, twice bidding the tenor reach for the D flat above high C. In ‘Benedetto sia ’l giorno’, Petrarch calls for multiple blessings on his first sight of Laura, his love for her, and his own thoughts and verses about her. Liszt moves from key to key, benediction to benediction, in his trademark restless, innovative way. ‘I’ vidi in terra angelici costumi’ tells of heavenly angels on earth and earth-shattering beauty in the person of Laura, whose harmonious being fills the air with sweetness. This celestial song, with its breathtaking harmonic shift just before the invocation of ‘Love! wisdom! valour, pity and grief’, ends quietly and reverently.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2010


Other albums featuring this work
'Liszt: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Matthew Polenzani' (CDA67782)
Liszt: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Matthew Polenzani

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