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Track(s) taken from CDA67055

Aus Goethes Faust, Op 75 No 3

First line:
Es war einmal ein König
mid 1790s; revised for publication in 1809
author of text

Stephan Genz (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)
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: 2 minutes 1 seconds

Cover artwork: Faust and Magaretha. after Ary Scheffer (1795-1858)
Sotheby’s Picture Library

Other recordings available for download

Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)


'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)
This most indelibly memorable of all Beethoven’s songs – as well as the most overtly playful – sets the famous passage from Goethe’s Faust known as Mephistopheles’ ‘Song of the Flea’. The insect’s darting movements are brilliantly suggested by the registral hopping of the piano part, while the last verse screws up the mounting hysteria with a series of excited scratches culminating in the squashing of the flea right at the end.

from notes by Julian Haylock © 1999

Ce lied – le plus mémorable et le plus ouvertement espiègle de tous les lieder de Beethoven – met en musique le célèbre passage du Faust de Goethe connu comme le «Chant de la puce» de Mephistophélès. Les mouvements saccadés de l’insecte sont brillamment suggérés par le saut de registre de la partie de piano, tandis que la dernière strophe déboussole l’hystérie montante par une série d’éraflures excitées, culminant dans l’écrasement de la puce, à la toute fin.

extrait des notes rédigées par Julian Haylock © 1999
Français: Hyperion Records Ltd

Dieses unvergeßlichste aller Beethoven-Lieder – und das offenkundig verspielteste – ist eine Vertonung der berühmten Passage aus Goethes Faust, die unter dem Titel „Mephistos Flohlied“ bekannt ist. Die ruckartigen Bewegungen des Insekts werden brillant angedeutet durch die Registersprünge des Klavierparts, und der letzte Vers schraubt die wachsende Hysterie mit einer Serie aufgeregter Kratzbewegungen hoch, die ganz zuletzt im „Knicken“ des Flohs gipfelt.

aus dem Begleittext von Julian Haylock © 1999
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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