Clytus Gottwald - Transkriptionen Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Soupir – Three Poems by Stéphane Mallarmé [3:53] La vallée des cloches [6:20] André CAPLET (1878-1925) Trois Fragments du Miroir de Jésus:- Présentation [3:18] Agonie au Jardin [2:19] Résurrection [3:08] Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus [7:34] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Soupir [3:32] Alban BERG (1885-1935) Drei Lieder aus Sieben frühe Lieder:- Die Nachtigall [2:35] Im Zimmer [1:29] Traumgekrönt [3:30] Heinz HOLLIGER (b.1939) Zwei frühe Lieder nach Texten von Christian Morgenstern:- Vöglein Schwermut [3:43] Herbst [3:14] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Zwei Studien zu ‘Tristan und Isolde’:-
Im Treibhaus [Act III Scene I] [5:37] Träume [Act II – O sink hernieder, Nacht der liebe] [3:40] Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen [6:43]
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Marcus
rec. Villa Berg, SWR Stuttgart 2003-2006; the Mahler Live
at the Evang.Kirche, Stuttgart-Gaisburg CARUS 83.181 [64:09]
You may know the name Clytus Gottwald for his many transcriptions
for a capella choir. The source material can take
the form of lieder or instrumental works. “Orchestrating
voices” is something to which Gottwald has devoted much of
his compositional career, spurred on by the example of Ligeti
and his Lux Aeterna.
Naturally one’s first exposure to this kind of procedure is apt to
be rather disconcerting. Starting with Ravel’s Soupir gives
one a considerable jolt. For La vallée des cloches Gottwald
utilises a text by Paul Verlaine – Nevermore – which
is textually related to bell peals. The former is quietly
hypnotic, the latter uses distancing dynamics to replicate
the pealing – “sonnez clochettes! sonnez cloches!”
Gottwald brings out the Gregorian archaisms implicit in the
Caplet and for the Messiaen increases the choir to nineteen
This is a collage of the composer’s own texts originally
written for Trois petites liturgies de la Présence divine. The
Messiaen composition Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus was
originally composed for cello and piano. The choral version
is broad and effective.
For the Berg Gottwald had a more precise job – he employed Ligeti’s
idea of micro-polyphony. The result to my ears sounds very
strongly Brahmsian. The sopranos are pushed very high and
the high D in Die Nachtigall sounds, well, not good.
The Holliger works are early but are fruitful transcriptions
from Gottwald for an old colleague.
The Wagner transcriptions are idiomatic – others exist of
course, Wagner having transcribed Träume for violin
and piano, in which form it achieved a certain celebrity.
Mahler Gottwald is apparently a touch complacent, informing
the reading world that “it has become so widely known that
to add to the many existing introductions to this piece seems
superfluous.” Perhaps not, Herr Gottwald, one is tempted
Creed’s expertise in this kind of repertoire needs no seconding from
me and the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart copes well with the
demands – except when they are unnecessarily exorbitant.
Full texts and the usual fine production values from Carus
complete the package.
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