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THE NORTHERN SCHUBERT

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RODERIC DUNNETT explores the music of CARL LOEWE

 

Liszt called him a genius; Wagner admired his use of Leitmotif, and rated his ballad settings above Schubert's. Carl Loewe's oratorios were ranked alongside Mendelssohn's; his one fully staged opera was a Berlin triumph. His name was every bit as famous as that of his Viennese-born 20th century namesake, Frederick Loewe (composer of My Fair Lady), whose own centenary fell last year.

Carl Loewe: Ausgewählte Balladen. Robert Holl - David Lutz. CD cover © Preiser Records

The great German Lieder composer Hugo Wolf held Loewe in awe. Schumann, writing in 1835, had this to say : 'The living composer who has expressed the German spirit at its tenderest and most savage, encompassing the language of tenderest love and wildest fury alike, is Carl Loewe.'

Louise Mott, Nathan Berg and Simon Over

Loewe, whose songs have just been featured, sung by soprano Louise Mott and baritone Nathan Berg (a singer of striking power and versatility : he also performed Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death at Basingstoke's Anvil the following night, with the Philharmonia under Esa-Pekka Salonen), as part of the sixth annual song recitals series devised by accompanists Malcolm Martineau and Simon Over and staged at St John's, Smith Square in London, is the fascinating dark horse of early German Romanticism : the uncrowned king of ballad-writing; a melodic genius; the one whom some termed 'the northern Schubert'.

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Copyright © 7 February 2002 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

 

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INTERNATIONAL CARL LOEWE SOCIETY

LISTEN TO LOEWE SONGS AND PIANO SONATAS ON CPO

A LOEWE SYMPHONY & PIANO CONCERTO ON KOCH

AN HISTORIC CARL LOEWE RECORDING

CARL LOEWE AT AMAZON.COM

FISCHER-DIESKAU SINGS LOEWE ON DG

 

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