R Strauss - The Complete Songs Vol.6 | Hyperion CDA67844

R Strauss - The Complete Songs Vol.6


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Label: Hyperion

Cat No: CDA67844

Barcode: 0034571178448

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 29th October 2012

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Elizabeth Watts (soprano)
Roger Vignoles (piano)


Strauss, Richard

Begegnung, Av72
Der Kramerspiegel, op.66
Die erwachte Rose, Av60
Kleine Lieder (5), op.69
» no.1 Der Stern
» no.3 Einerlei
» no.4 Waldesfahrt
» no.5 Schlechtes Wetter
Lieder (3), op.88
» no.1 Das Bachlein
» no.2 Blick vom oberen Belvedere
Malven ('Aus Rosen'), AV304
Rote Rosen (Red Roses), AV76
Wer hat's gethan? ('Es steht mein Lied in Nacht und Frost'), AV84A
Wir beide wollen springen ('Es ging ein Wind durchs weite land'), AV90


Elizabeth Watts (soprano)
Roger Vignoles (piano)


Hyperionís Strauss Lieder series continues to demonstrate that the composerís achievements in this genre are among the most fascinating and accomplished of his works. This latest volume includes, for instance, the delicious Schlechtes Wetter from Op 69, and the lovely - and unknown - Waldesfahrt from the same group. The delicately beautiful Malven (never published in Straussís lifetime, and first performed by Kiri Te Kanawa in 1985), with which the recital ends, is known as Straussís ĎFifth Last Songí.

The central work recorded here, Kršmerspiegel, owes its genesis to Straussís long-lasting and bitter dispute with the German music publishing industry. A Berlin literary critic, Alfred Kerr, wrote him a witty set of satirical verses lampooning music publishers, mentioning many of Straussís principal enemies by name. Strauss set all twelve poems to music, and this practical joke finally saw the light of day in 1921. It is easy to understand why the cycle is now rarely performed, given that the texts consist entirely of in-jokes, and that the lionís share of the music is given to the pianist.

But Straussís music is well worth savouring, not least for its humorous references to Straussís own works, such as Der Rosenkavalier and Ein Heldenleben, and especially for the beautiful prelude to the eighth song and its reprise as the final extended postlude - used by the composer nearly a quarter of a century later, in his opera Capriccio.

Roger Vignoles is the curator and pianist of this series, and also writes the informative booklet notes. Making her Hyperion debut is soprano Elizabeth Watts, of whom The Guardian commented at a recent Strauss Lieder recital: 'Watts, winner of the Lieder prize at Cardiff Singer of the World in 2007, is already a major artist, but this struck me as making a transformation into a great one, as well as allowing us to hear her in music she seems to have been born to sing. Watts has the right tonal glamour for Strauss along with that tricky combination of vocal ease and immaculate control that his work requires'.

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