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Hyperion Records

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Watching the Geese by Paul Wilhelm Keller-Reutlingen (1854-1920)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDH55389
Recording details: February 2002
Tonstudio Teije van Geest, Sandhausen, Germany
Produced by Teije van Geest
Engineered by Teije van Geest
Release date: November 2002
Total duration: 4 minutes 40 seconds

'A fascinating recital' (Gramophone)

'It would be hard to imagine these virtually unknown songs better performed than here' (The Daily Telegraph)

'A very attractive programme … superbly controlled singing that goes right to the heart of Wolf's spontaneous response to the poetry' (International Record Review)

'[Genz] has a chocolate-honey sound, an ability to colour his voice with every shade of emotion, and a thrilling dramatic presence' (Classic FM Magazine)

'In sum, another top-of-the-line issue—confirming yet again that Hyperion has consistently the best production values in the business—and, for Wolf's admirers, another indispensable album' (Fanfare, USA)

'The programme is sung throughout with easeful tonal beauty; and Roger Vignoles is at his glorious best as he reveals the wonders of Wolf’s writing for the piano' (Musical Opinion)

'Stefan Genz aborde ces œuvres avec le timbre franc et agréable qu’on lui connaît' (Répertoire, France)

Nächtliche Wanderung
First line:
Die Nacht ist finster, schwül und bang
composer
February 1878
author of text

Introduction  EnglishDeutsch
Nächtliche Wanderung from February 1878 is heavy, not to say melodramatic in mood. It describes a night walk through the forests in a thunderstorm, the singer obsessed by suicidal thoughts from which he is only restrained by the imagined voice of his dead bride. Wolf presents this as high melodrama, all ominous tremolandi and deep timpani strokes in the piano part, and a broken, spasmodic vocal line that rises to a final self-immolatory high G. The result is ultimately rather preposterous (it is certainly not one of Lenau’s greatest poems), but also rather wonderful, especially in the delirious harmonic colouring of ‘Das klingt so lieblich wie Musik’, and the glorious melodic line of the extended postlude. If An *** recalls Tchaikovsky, Nächtliche Wanderung makes one think of Wolf’s French contemporary (and fellow Wagnerite), Henri Duparc.

from notes by Roger Vignoles © 20002

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