Goethe first featured in Beethoven’s output in the early 1790s with the song ‘Marmotte’ and the composer may well have made sketches for Aus Goethes Faust following his arrival in Vienna (just a few years after the publication of the playwright’s original dramatic ‘fragment’). Beethoven’s first established Goethe setting, however, was Mailied, the melody of which he also employed in one of two arias for Ignaz Umlauf ’s Singspiel Die schöne Schusterin. Neue Liebe, neues Leben came into being in 1798–9, though the more famous version dates from 1809, when Beethoven was writing his incidental music to Goethe’s Egmont.
Composer and poet were in correspondence during 1811 and they finally met in 1812; the two, however, were never to be firm allies. Goethe thought that, although ‘his talent astonished me’, Beethoven ‘is unfortunately an utterly uncontrolled personality’. In turn, the composer was rather dismissive of Goethe’s craving of ‘Court air’, though his underlying admiration persisted, taken up by the young Schubert, whose extraordinary flowering of Lieder began on 19 October 1814 with ‘Gretchen am Spinnrade’. From the same period date Beethoven’s most impressive contributions to early Romantic song. He returned to Christoph August Tiedge’s An die Hoffnung around 1813, having originally set the poem in 1804–5. Notwithstanding that song’s soulful appeal, it was a work of 1816 that offered the true benchmark to the ensuing generation: An die ferne Geliebte.
Total time: 01:10:07
|Original Recording Format|
Robina G Young
Brad Michel, Matthew Bennett
The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d"Abernon, Surrey UK
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|Release Date||March 27, 2015|
“Lyric tenor Julian Prégardien (b.1984) presents his first recording of solo Lieder. He introduces an inspired programme that takes us through the gamut of emotions to be found in early and late Romanticism’s concept of the “Distant Beloved”, and its part in song-cycles.
Julian reminds us that to understand the power of the German Lied we must realise that more is going on in its poetry than is being said. The poetic ideas themselves are full of symbols (frequently of various forms of Love). These are transformed and sublimated through the Lied composer’s and singer’s musical and dramatic re-enactments. For Julian Prégardien it is the opportunity to act, by taking up roles suggested by the poets, which attracts him artistically. And acting is certainly what he does; I can’t remember hearing quite such vivid portrayals of love-lorn characters in Lieder before.
In his first solo recital, Julian Prégardien has shown a devotion to research and interpretation of his material, as well cultivating his vocal crafts and interpretations. His father, Christoph, has the same visionary qualities, and this première suggests that Julian could have a success at least as great. Highly Recommended. Performance, Stereo Sonics and Multichannel Sonics: Each 5 out of 5 Stars.”
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