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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: 4 minutes 3 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' (

Trost in Tränen, Op 14
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Goethe was the poet for Trost in Tränen, Op 14 (1872, revised in 1873), for baritone soloist, four solo voices (mezzo soprano, tenor and two basses) and optional piano accompaniment. (Cornelius indicated in the score that although he composed it as an a cappella work, as it is heard on this disc, the singers could opt to include the piano accompaniment, which doubles the voice parts.) Goethe wrote Trost in Tränen as a dialogue between an individual and a group, and Cornelius has maintained that distinction. The baritone has separate text from the other voices, and sings it after the soloists have presented their text once. Thus he gives us two different musical layers that are developed at the same time. Much of the writing for the four voices is homophonic, but there is a fugue-like texture in a quick middle section, and the baritone and the four voices occasionally engage in imitation between themselves. Although Cornelius does not use a traditional form to structure the whole, he does follow the narrative of the text, progressing from sorrow in an opening slow section through a fast march-like section to a calm ending, bespeaking solace. This is a beautiful work that like so much of his choral music expresses comfort over death.

from notes by James Deaville © 2000

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