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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791)
Complete songs
CD 1
1. Cantate: Die ihr des unermesslichen Weltalls, K619 (1787)¹ [7:28]
2. Das Traumbild, K530 (1787)² [4:14]
3. Die Zufriedenhalt, K349 (1780/81)² [1:30]
4. An die Freude, K53 (1768)¹ [2:42]
Drei Lieder aus „Sophiens Reise“:
5. Ich würd’ auf meinem Pfad (An die Hoffnung), K390 (1781/82)² [2:10]
6. Sei du mein Trost (An die Einsamkeit), K391 (1781/82) ¹ [2:42]
7. Verdankt sei es dem Glanz (An die Bescheidenheit), K392 (1781/82)² [2:16]
8. Komm, liebe Zither, K351 (1780/81)² [1:39]
9. Die Alte, K517 (18.5.1787)¹ [3:32]
10. An die Freudenschaft, K148 (1772)¹² [2:29]
Vier Lieder nach Texten von Christian Felix Weisse:
11. Die Verschweigung, K518 (20.5.1787)¹ [2:20]
12. Der Zauberer, K472 (7.5.1785)¹ [2:02]
13. Die Zufriedenheit, K473 (7.5.1785)² [3:09]
14. Die betrogne Welt, K474 (7.5.1785)² [2:51]
CD 2
1. Das Veilchen, K476 (8.6.1785)¹ [2:16]
2. Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte, K520 (26.5.1787)¹ [1:41]
3. Das Lied der Trennung, K519 (23.5.1787)² [4:46]
4. Des kleinen Friedrichs Geburtstag, K529 (6.11.1787)¹² [2:30]
5. Lied der Freiheit, K506 (1785)² [1:40]
6. Lied zur Gesellenreise, K468 (26.3.1785)² [2:44]
Deux ariettes:
7. Oiseaux, si tous les ans, K307 (1777/78)¹ [1:25]
8. Dans un bois solitaire, K308 (1777/78)²
9, Ridente la calma, K152 (between 1772 and 1775)¹ [3:16]
10. An Chloe, K524 (24.6.1787)² [2:34]
11. Die kleine Spinnerin, K531 (11.12.1787)¹ [1:49]
12. Wie unglücklich bin ich nit, K147 (1772)² [1:00]
13. Lieb bein Auszug in das Feld, K552 (11.8.1788)² [2:11]
14. Sehnsucht nach dem Frühlinge, K596 (14.1.1791)¹ [1:41]
15. Der Frühling (Im Frühlingsanfang), K597 (14.1.1791)¹ [1:42]
16. Das Kinderspiel, K598 (14.1.1791)¹² [1:29]
17. Abendempfindung an Laura, K523 (24.6.1787)¹ [5:37]
Sophie Karthäuser (soprano)¹, Stephan Loges (baritone)², Eugene Asti (piano)
rec. 18­-21 January 2007, Tibor Varga Foundation Studio, Sion, Switzerland
Texts with English and French translations incl.
CYPRES CYP1650 [41:07 + 40:30]

 

Experience Classicsonline

Compared to Schubert and several other composers who had a special feeling for the human voice Mozart wrote comparatively few songs with piano. Even though, a good handful of them are relatively often heard and recorded the majority are fairly unknown. Looking back in the catalogue one can find singers like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (with Gieseking), Irmgard Seefried, Rita Streich and Elly Ameling to mention a few with a special affinity for these songs. I believe that Ameling on a 2 disc Philips set recorded them all. Many others have also included Mozart songs in their programmes – often a section of a mixed programme – so competition is keen when two newcomers enter the race. Sophie Karthäuser and Stephan Loges are able to hold their own with any of their famous predecessors and this set is a practically unqualified success.

We are used to hear female voices in these songs but I can’t find any drawback to a baritone sharing the duty especially when he is as accomplished as Stephan Loges. For domestic listening he also contributes welcome contrast with his well modulated, warm and rounded tone and perfect legato. Karthäuser has a bright, glittering voice, fresh as spring water. Both singers are good communicators and they complement each other superbly.

The recital is cleverly arranged for maximum contrast and in three of the songs they sing together. That famous handful of songs are found on the second disc, opening with what can be regarded as Mozart’s masterpiece in the genre, the setting of Goethe’s Das Veilchen. Fresh as dew may be a worn metaphor but there are no better words for it. And Ridente la calma, a personal favourite of mine, is so scintillating. The only objection I could possibly pose is the reading of Sehnsucht nach dem Frühlinge, using the rondo theme in Mozart’s last piano concerto (B flat major K595) which he recycled into this lovely song. It is lovely here too but I feel it is too rushed and straight-faced. Apart from this I find no fault with any of the readings.

A few words on some of the ‘finds’: The opening Cantate K619, in Köchel’s list placed between two of Mozart’s most sublime works, Ave verum corpus and Die Zauberflöte, seems unrelated to either of these. It has a sweet, Italianate melodic character, more in line with the young Mozart of Exultate, Jubilate, but he was after all a chameleon. There are also some darker streaks in the composition. An die Freude, K53, is an agreeable little song, written by a boy not yet in his teens, and Die Alte (The old woman), who looks back to the good old days, is winningly characterized by Karthäuser, who applies a whining old lady’s tone without sacrificing musical quality. The well known An Chloe is really endearing in Loges’ reading. “When love looks out of your clear, blue eyes, and the joy of gazing into them makes my heart dance, and glow”, he sings and his mellifluous voice shivers with suppressed passion.

Eugene Asti is a pliable accompanist and the recording is first class. At just under 82 minutes playing time it wasn’t possible to squeeze the whole programme into a single disc but the double CD costs little more than one premium priced disc and is worth every penny of it. Don’t throw away your old Schwarzkopf, Seefried, Streich or Ameling records but try this as a superbly youthful and fresh alternative.

Göran Forsling 

 




 


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