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Track(s) taken from CDJ33051/3

Gesang der Geister, Op 88

First line:
Des menschen Seele
author of text

Susan Gritton (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor), Gerald Finley (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: October 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2005
Total duration: 6 minutes 9 seconds


'This enterprising, often revelatory set should intrigue and delight anyone interested in the development of the Lied' (Gramophone)

'Since making music with friends was Schubert's whole raison d'etre, this 3-CD box is an inspired idea … led by the soprano Susan Gritton, the performances are pure A-list' (The Independent)

'Anyone who loves lieder will find here a rich, diverse, and delightful offering. There isn't a bad song among the 81 songs by 40 composers who wrote during Schubert's lifetime, and there's a lot of fine music here by well-known and also practically unknown composers and poets. The singing is consistently excellent… anyone interested in this genre will find here a broad-ranging and generous collection' (American Record Guide)

'If 81 songs are too many to mention individually, sufficient variety exists and enough songs are receiving a first recording for this set to be indispensable for anyone interested in the genre' (International Record Review)

'Graham Johnson once again demonstrates that he has few peers today in his combined function as scholar-musician' (Fanfare, USA)
Schubert set this text three times; two of these are recorded in The Hyperion Schubert Edition, but the third (D714, for male-voiced octet accompanied by low strings) falls outside the scope of a series devoted to the vocal music with piano. Loewe’s version for vocal quartet and piano, his Op 88, was composed in 1840 and published two years later. It is the composer’s considerable achievement to have written accessible music, not terribly difficult to perform, that nevertheless does not seem unworthy of great words that gave even Schubert considerable difficulty. Loewe’s part-writing for the voices is skilful, the pianistic interludes are water music of some originality and effectiveness, and the three vocal solos (for soprano, bass and finally tenor) are cleverly set to reflect the words and different terrain through which the water passes. The quartet reassembles for the charming allegretto coda (‘Wind ist der Welle / Lieblicher Buhler’) where the composer’s lilting invention is, once again, charming without being untrue to the profound spirit of the text. If this is Hausmusik, it is of a very superior kind, and entirely typical of Loewe’s often astounding professionalism.

comparative Schubert listening:
Gesang der Geister über den Wassern First setting, D484. September 1816
Gesang der Geister über den Wassern Second setting, D705. December 1820

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006

Other albums featuring this work

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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