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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67206
Recording details: May 2000
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 2000
Total duration: 11 minutes 22 seconds

'An appealing collection of choral works from the composer of the celebrated carol, Three Kings from Persian lands afar. Polyphony are perfect advocates of this richly woven choral writing and the solo singing is very fine too' (Gramophone)

'These are superior performances, Layton’s group Polyphony offering refined tone and exceptional precision, together with a careful observation of Cornelius’s dynamics and fluent phrasing' (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Enthusiastically recommended’ (American Record Guide)

'Polyphony sing with solemn beauty. The sound is sumptuous and richly atmospheric' (The Guardian)

'This program offers an exciting trip into what for most listeners will be a world of happy discovery' (ClassicsToday.com)

Liebe 'Ein Zyklus von 3 Chorliedern', Op 18
composer
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Cornelius’s Op 18, called Liebe, a cycle of three choral ‘lieder’ for six- to eight-voiced mixed chorus, reveals Cornelius’s desire not to take historical material literally, but to rework it. In this case he drew upon texts by Angelus Silesius (Johannes Scheffler) from 1657, but he significantly rewrote them – the texts generally express human love for the Saviour. The individual choruses count among Cornelius’s more extended published works for voice, each displaying a variety of moods as the texts unfold. Cornelius builds these larger structures in part through recurring musical ideas, such as the first phrase in ‘Liebe, dir ergeb’ ich mich!’ (No 1), which returns in some form for every line that begins with the word ‘Liebe’. ‘Ich will dich lieben, meine Krone!’ (No 2) falls into a large ABA form and ‘Thron der Liebe, Stern der Güte’ (No 3) alternates sections featuring a lively and a calm theme in a rondo-like form. However, Cornelius never repeats thematic ideas literally, since the texts themselves are always progressing. Striking details of his sensitivity to the text include the insertion of 3/2 measures for the word ‘Liebe’ in No 1 and the irregular, enharmonic modulations to help express regret in the middle section of No 2.

from notes by James Deaville © 2000

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