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Partsongs for all seasons


SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 215

Record Box


German romanticsm is not necessarily thought of as a powerful force in the part-song repertory. I've just proved to myself that it is, and the accompanying ardour can be equally pervasive.

He of the popular violin concerto, Max Bruch, has a set of seven part-songs all of which create an effect, are highly expressive, and in the case of An die Musik deeply felt [listen - track 10, 00:00-01:00]. A Hugo Wolf group is similarly - as one would presumably expect of a lieder composer - blessed with a clutch of sensitive images [listen - track 3, 00:00-00:45]. There are also contributions from Schubert [listen - track 18, 00:00-00:56], Schumann, Brahms and early Schoenberg as a late romantic.

Bath Camerara - Nigel Perrin. to music. Wolf - Bruch - Brahms - Schubert - Schumann. Copyright (c) 1999 SOMM RecordingsAs a mixed programme, the partsongs have some odd bedfellows whose musical quality tends to outshine. For instance, Brahms' motet Warum ist das Licht gegeben is austerely impressive; Schubert's Christ ist erstanden moves with solemnity; and Schumann's Sommerlied has a delicate air. One might add with wry amusement that Schoenberg's Ei, du Lutte from his early twenties is skittish and plainly diatonic!

You might ponder the programmatic boundaries and a possible theme for a mixed bag of short choral pieces. I don't detect one, other than selection of a varied group of established composers whose approach to mixed-voice miniatures threw up the occasional gem. Undoubtedly there are a few sparklers here.


Copyright © Basil Ramsey, December 29th 1999 





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