One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,670 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere

Special Offer
Complete Chopin
17 discs
Pre-order for £100


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Cyril Scott piano music

Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

Symphony for solo piano

alternatively Crotchet

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke (1942-43) [57:50]
Christianne Stotijn (contralto)
Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur/Jac van Steen
rec. Stadthaus Winterthur, February 2006†

Martinís song-cycle is one of absolute seriousness of design and purpose and† remains one of the most compelling such works ever written. Itís not lacked for interpreters but in Christianne Stotijn it has found a new champion, one quite worthy to rank beside Marjana Lipovsek whose Orfeo disc with the Austrian Radio Symphony and Lothar Zagrosek projects a rather more overtly atmospheric sound-world.
Stotijnís contralto, a genuine one by the way and thus of considerable rarity value, is put to the test by the fearsome demands Martin puts on it Ė of characterisation and expression as much as matters of technique. Fortunately she displays in the second song, Der Kleine Marquis, one of the most admirable features of her vocal production - flexibility and freedom in the upper register where it retains brightness and body without coarsening. In Wachtfeuer the lower part of her voice is especially well focused. This terse and tensile setting is hard to put across but she does so with conviction and certainty. Itís a marker for the whole performance in fact.
The motoric defiance of Ein Tag durch den Tross is equally well done by the orchestral forces where instrumental deployment either spare Ė as in Reiten Ė or garrulous, as here, shows how adept are the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur under Jac van Steen. Such things as the surging brass in Spork and the immediate and powerful contrast with the succeeding Der Schrei show that the emotional temperature of these settings has been sensitively calibrated.
When Stotijn needs to deploy near-Wagnerian heft she does so; Das Schloss is elemental in its vivid declamation but note too her care over word placement and dynamics. Without such qualities her singing of Und Einer steht would not be as impressive as it undoubtedly is. Thereís a malleability to her singing, a lightning of tone that is impressive. So too the military orchestral interjections in Ist das der Morgen? and the flaring power of Der Tod.
In fact this is such a fine account that musical reservations are few. The sound is clear, bright and heard in SACD clarity. Only one complaint - there are no translations and that is a blow if you donít have access to the poems. The Lipovsek recording (Orfeo C164 881A) has them as do most other recordings and they are vital for understanding. Only fluent German speakers can survive without them. With that caveat noted this is an admirable recording.
Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.