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LIEDER FOR THE TURN OF A CENTURY
Katherine Broderick & Malcolm Martineau

 

 

 
1. Strauss, Richard [01:54]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - I - Zueignung

2. Strauss, Richard [01:34]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - II - Nichts

3. Strauss, Richard [02:56]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - III - Die Nacht

4. Strauss, Richard [04:07]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - IV - Die Georgine

5. Strauss, Richard [05:03]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - V - Geduld

6. Strauss, Richard [01:15]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - VI - Die Verschwiegenen

7. Strauss, Richard [01:40]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - VII - Die Zeitlose

8. Strauss, Richard [03:21]
Acht gedichte aus 'Letze Blatter' Op.10 - VIII - Allerseelen

9. Berg, Alban [03:56]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - I - Nacht

10. Berg, Alban [01:54]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - II - Schilflied

11. Berg, Alban [02:11]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - III - Die Nachtigall

12. Berg, Alban [02:26]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - IV - Traumgekront

13. Berg, Alban [01:17]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - V - Im Zimmer

14. Berg, Alban [01:35]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - VI - Liebesode

15. Berg, Alban [01:43]
Sieben Fruhe Lieder - VII - Sommertage

16. Schoenberg, Arnold [03:35]
Brettl lieder - I - Galathea

17. Schoenberg, Arnold [02:06]
Brettl lieder - II - Gigerlette

18. Schoenberg, Arnold [03:08]
Brettl lieder - III - Der Genugsamerliebhaber

19. Schoenberg, Arnold [02:41]
Brettl lieder - IV - Einfaltigeslied

20. Schoenberg, Arnold [03:42]
Brettl lieder - V - Mahnung

21. Schoenberg, Arnold [04:38]
Brettl lieder - VI - Jedem das Seine

22. Schoenberg, Arnold [03:51]
Brettl lieder - VII - Arie aus Dem Spiegel von Arcadia

23. Schoenberg, Arnold [04:46]
Brettl lieder - VIII - Nachtwandler

Artist(s):
Katherine Broderick, soprano
Malcolm Martineau, piano

Strauss, Berg, Schoenberg

Overripe romanticism, lyrical songs and cabaret humour from the turn of the C20th

Soprano Katherine Broderick makes her debut recording on Champs Hill Records with a recital disc of Strauss, Berg and Schoenberg,

Katherine Broderick was the winner of the 2007 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Following studies at the National Opera Studio in London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music and the Mendelssohn Hochschule in Leipzig, she is now a member of the ENO Young Singers Programme. In demand at opera houses in the UK and Europe, her stage repertoire encompasses Wagner, Verdi, Mozart and Britten.

This season she performs at a Wigmore Hall lunchtime recital on 10 November as part of their Mendelssohn day and is a soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on 24 November.

The repertoire on 'Open Your Eyes' was all composed between 1885 and 1908 and opens with Eight poems by Herman Gilm's from his Letze Bl�tter which Richard Strauss set in 1885 while still in his very early twenties. The set includes three of his best�‐loved songs (also recorded by Felicity Lott on CHR CD037) including Die Nacht where he shows his flair for nocturnal tone painting and Allerseelen or 'All Souls Day' where the most lyrical of vocal lines is set against the background of flower-�decked graves.

Alban Berg composed his 'Seven Early Songs' starting in 1905, while a student of Schoenberg, with the songs influenced by Strauss, Mahler, Wolf and Debussy and have a distinct sense of a romantic musical world expanded beyond its limits, on the brink of dissolving into modernism.

Arnold Schoenberg's Brettl Lieder or Cabaret Songs of 1901 are tonal works, intended to use a more popular song idiom to convey more 'serious' ideas, and setting eight poems taken from a collection published as simply 'German Songs' in 1900 by Otto Julius Bierbaum. The most unusual of the set is Hugo Salus' Der Gen�gsamerliebhaber or 'Easily satisfied lover': a man tells us that his lady-�friend has a black cat with a soft, velvety coat. The woman spends all her time caressing her cat's fur while it sits on her lap, and it shivers when he strokes it. Later, he puts the kitty on his bald head and she plays with it and laughs. Throughout the songs, Schoenberg's responds to the texts with simplicity and humour, and no little suggestiveness in this instance. 


 

 


Hermann von Gilm, the poet of Strauss�s Opus10, was an Austrian civil servant whose verse was greatly admired by Gottfried Benn and is still highly prized in his native country. All the poems of Opus 10, apart from �Zueignung�, were taken from Letzte Bl�tter, a section from his Collected Poems that was given Strauss by his close friend, the composer Ludwig Thuille. It seems likely that the love songs from Opus 10 were inspired by Dora Wihan, whom Strauss had first met in 1883. She was the wife of his father�s colleague, the cellist Hanu� Wihan. Four years older than Strauss, she was a talented pianist, gifted enough to play Strauss� Cello Sonata with her husband. Hanu� was renowned for his jealousy, and Johanna Strauss, the composer�s sister, wrote later in her memoirs:

Herr Wihan was insanely jealous over his pretty and already rather coquettish wife. I often witnessed scenes. For instance, she often asked me to spend the night with her, when her husband came in late from the opera and sometimes had had a drop to drink, so that she wasn�t left alone. When Richard was with us we used to make music.

That Strauss was emotionally involved with Dora is suggested by a letter that his father wrote to him in January 1886: �Don�t forget how people here have talked about you in connection with Dora W�.

The set opens with Zueignung, his first published song, although the twenty year-old composer had already written over 40 Lieder. Gilm�s original title had been �Habe Dank�, but Strauss, with his unerring sense for the right formula, renamed the song. There is a whiff of salon music about it and an unmistakable Straussian Schwung. Note how the refrain �Habe Dank� is handled differently in each verse: from A minor we move to F major in stanza two and then, with a lusher, more passionate accompaniment, Strauss takes us swiftly through F major, E minor and A minor, before the voice finally resolves the song with an exulting upward leap of a sixth. The original poem, with phrases such as �der Freiheit Zecher� and �beschworst darin die B�sen�, is more political than amorous, and refers to the struggle for Tyrolean independence. Gilm�s love for the Tyrol is reflected in another poem, �Zueignung�, which begins �Tirol so sch�n, so �berreich gesegnet�. The next song, Nichts, is marked Vivace, and Strauss instructs the singer to �sing freely� and the pianist to play �with humour�. Composed when Strauss had just turned twenty, it is one of his most exuberant and light-hearted songs, and has a conversational feel to it, like so many of his operas. Die Nacht conveys the onset of night in an extraordinarily tangible way: the first bar has one staccato note to a beat, the second bar two, the third three, while the fourth ushers in the left hand as well � as though night were darkening before our eyes. Die Georgine inhabits a completely different harmonic world, and looks forward to the sort of song that Wolf was to write only five years later. The succinct poem compares the lover to the dahlia, which blooms late: the poet, like the dahlia, has never known �den Fr�hling dieses Lebens� (�the spring of life�), and has only experienced the joy and pain of love in his final years. Geduld expresses different thoughts: the poet cannot wait for his beloved to surrender to him, for, like the rose-bush, he only has a single spring to love and kiss. This is a predominantly sad song, marked, significantly, molto mesto, ma non troppo lento (very sadly, but not too slow). The urgency of the lover�s plea is reflected in the insistent 6/8 rhythmic pattern, and his anguish is wonderfully conveyed in the final fortissimo bars of the postlude which erupt with a poignancy comparable to the final bars of Schubert�s �Wer nie sein Brot mit Tr�nen ass�. Die Verschwiegenen resembles those bitterly humorous poems that are encountered time and again in Ernst von Wolzogen�s �berbrettl, as we shall see in the Schoenberg settings that end this CD. Die Zeitlose is a simple little song about the saffron flower which, just like the deceptive beauty of a last love, contains poison. The epigrammatic poem inspired Strauss to write an arioso-like song that is perhaps the shortest of all his Lieder. The set ends with Allerseelen, composed when Strauss was 18. The tranquillo marking of this lovely song, too often sentimentalized by singers and pianists, belies the commotion of the text: the woman tries throughout to relive the joyous moments she used to spend with her now departed lover, and by a plethora of imperatives (�stell�, �trag�, �laߒ, �gib�, �komm�) she almost succeeds in convincing herself, despite the refrain (�wie einst im Mai�/ �as once in May�) that he is still with her. The vocal line rises climactically to an ff A, but then comes the heartbreaking realization that he is indeed dead, and she alone. The accompaniment tails away to piano, the mask slips, and the final �Wie einst im Mai� rubs in the unbearable truth.

When in 1904 an advertisement appeared in the �Neue musikalische Presse�, inviting professional musicians and serious amateurs to take part in a music course given by Arnold Schoenberg and other teachers, Alban Berg submitted a not inconsiderable number of juvenilia to Schoenberg, who immediately recognized Berg�s talent and accepted him as a private pupil. We cannot now be sure how many songs Berg composed during those student years, for he destroyed many of them, and all remained unpublished during his lifetime � all, that is, except the Sieben fr�he Lieder which appeared in 1928. The reason for their publication was the enormous success of his opera Wozzeck, and Berg�s wish to produce another successful vocal work of more modest proportions, without embarking on an entirely new project. He chose seven of his juvenilia (Die Nachtigall, Im Zimmer and Liebesode date from 1905-6, Traumgekr�nt from 1907, the remaining three from 1908) and set about preparing two versions for publication, one with orchestra and one with piano accompaniment. They were originally composed at a time when Berg was deeply in love with Helene, his wife-to-be; when he orchestrated these songs in 1928, however, his emotional life was being complicated by his passionate attachment to Hanna Fuchs-Robettin, and Berg�s dedication of the set to Helene reflects perhaps his wish for a return to those uncomplicated days of early love. The songs all have love as their theme, and the influence of Schubert, Brahms and Wolf is not difficult to detect. There are anticipations of atonality (Nacht uses whole-tone harmony, and Im Zimmer delays its tonic chord to the very end), but these seven songs with their expressive melodic lines are typical products of the late romantic style � particularly in the orchestral version, where �Nacht� and Sommertage are lushly scored for large orchestra.

Ernst von Wolzogen, the librettist of Strauss�s early Feuersnot, decided in the early years of the twentieth century to found his own cabaret company in Berlin. Inspired by the success of the Parisian cabaret music of the 1890s (Yvette Guilbert had visited Berlin in 1899), he opened his own �Buntes Theater� (Variety Theatre) on Alexanderstra�e, calling it ��berbrettl� (literally, �Super board�) � a reference to the theatrical term �treading the boards� and the superiority of his own establishment. Among the early contributors were Oscar Straus and Otto Julius Bierbaum, the poet much favoured by Richard Strauss (�Traum durch die D�mmerung�, �Schlagende Herzen�, �Nachtgang�, �Freundliche Vision�) who had recently published a volume of poems called �Deutsche Chansons�, that he subtitled �Brettl-Lieder�. And in the Introduction he stated the aims of the Brettl poets:

[...] We want to write poems that will not just be read amidst the bliss of solitude, but that can bear singing to a crowd hungry for entertainment.

The readers� hunger was such that within a year 30,000 copies of �Deutsche Chansons� had been sold, and by 1920 the number had risen to 118,000.

Arnold Schoenberg bought a copy around Christmas 1900, and of his eight Brettl-Lieder, published in 1904, three were to texts by Bierbaum: Nachtwandler (April 1901), Galathea and Gigerlette (date uncertain). Der gen�gsame Liebhaber, to a text by Hugo Salus, was composed in April 1901, followed by Mahnung (Gustav Hochstetter) in July. The poet of the Arie aus dem �Spiegel von Arkadien� was none other than Emanuel Schikaneder, the librettist of Mozart�s Die Zauberfl�te � a most appropriate choice, since Schikaneder�s poems and plays were at the heart of the Viennese popular culture that Wolzogen was trying to emulate in Berlin. Though Schoenberg was music director of the �berbrettl for a short period, he was not ideally suited to the role, since he was no pianist and could not improvise in the way Oscar Straus had done. His interest in Cabaret songs was partly financial (he was still a young and relatively unknown composer); yet his love of light popular music never left him, and can be detected in later works such as Pierrot Lunaire (1912), the Serenade, Op. 24 and his Suite, Op. 29.

Richard Stokes


"[Kat Broderick] brings both vibrancy and sensitivity.... Definitely a CD to be recommended."
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

"... a judicious mix of not-too-brash bravado and playful sensuality makes this performance just the ticket."

Richard Fairman, Gramophone, March 2013


"...beautifully shaped and superbly sung..."

BBC Radio 3, CD Review, March 2013

"...Broderick becomes entertainer supreme, with knowing, vividly characterised and confiding performances..."

Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 


“the musicians take full advantage of the acoustically wondrous Champs Hill Music Room. . . Broderick is an exceptional communicator.”

American Record Guide


   
   

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