Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


 REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
Poets of Sensibility, Vol. 6
Jan Kobow (tenor); Ulrich Eisenlohr (fortepiano)
rec. Studio 2, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich, Germany, 8-12 October 2007
Sung texts and English translations can be found at www.naxos.com/libretti/570480
NAXOS 8.570480 [55:54]
Experience Classicsonline


1. Der Jüngling an der Quelle, D.300 [1:40]
2. Der Herbstabend, D.405 [2:33]
3. Der Entfernten, D.350 [2:23]
4. Lied  ‚Ins stille Land’ D.403 (1st version) [1:04]
5. Lied  ‚Ins stille Land’ D.403 (4th version) [1:37]
6. Fischerlied, D.351 (1st setting) [2:07]
7. Pflügerlied, D.392 [2:14]
8. Fischerlied, D.562 (2nd setting) [2:45]
9. Herbstlied ‚Bunt sind schon die Wälder’, D.502 [1:40]
10. An die Harmonie, D.394 [3:44]
11. Die Einsiedelei, D.393 (1st setting) [2:30]
12. Die Herbstnacht (‚Mit leisen Harfentönen’) D.404 [2:26]
13. Abschied von der Harfe, D.406 [2:02]
14. Die Einsiedelei, D.563 (2nd setting) [2:09]
15. Freude der Kinderjahre, D.455 [2:23]
16. Das Bild, D.155 [2:49]
17. Heimliches Lieben (An Myrtill), D.922 [4:18]
18. Gott im Frühlinge, D.448 [1:57]
19. An den Schlaf, D.447 [1:10]
20. Der gute Hirt, D.449 [3:05]
21. Die Nacht, D.358 [3:36]
22. An Chloen, D.363 [2:38]
23. Die Liebesgötter, D.446 [3:05]

 

Four years ago I first came across Berlin-born Jan Kobow through Andreas Spering’s superb Naxos recording of Die Schöpfung (see review). Only some months later his recording of Die schöne Müllerin (see review) arrived and I literally boiled over with enthusiasm. Both recordings were then on my list of Recordings of the Year. Hearing his Schubert disc I expressed hopes about a Winterreise with him and although he actually recorded it some time later I never got hold of it. I was so much happier when I found the present disc in my latest review parcel.

The repertoire consists of largely little known settings of unknown poets – the only standard song is Der Jüngling an der Quelle – and some of the songs are rather ordinary. But as I have said in earlier reviews of discs in this series: even little known and ‘ordinary’ Schubert usually has merit. While most of them will probably not be very frequent visitors to my CD-player they have been nice to listen to and a few will no doubt be played again.

The first fourteen songs are settings of poems by Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis (1762–1834). This is the man on the cover painting. He was a Swiss nobleman who had met Goethe and Schiller and other literary greats but his own poetry was hardly on their level. Still Schubert obviously was inspired by it and some of them exist in more than one version. There are no less than four versions of Ins stille Land, the first and last of which are performed here. They differ very little but the fourth version is more melancholy in atmosphere and sung here much slower. Fischerlied is heard in two widely different settings. The earlier, D.351, is jolly and carefree and has a la-la-la refrain; the later, D.562, more elaborate and rather melismatic. Melisma is when one sings more than one note on each syllable. Die Einsiedelei is also preserved in two different settings, where the earlier, D.393, is lighter in tone the later, D.563, is darker but at the same time more lively. The more mature composer sees different things in the poem than the teenager does.

Apart from Der Jüngling an der Quelle, which deservedly is counted among the great Schubert songs, Der Entfernten, is an attractive strophic song with quite elaborate accompaniment. Abschied is dark and solemn with the fortepiano producing a much more realistic harp sound than a modern concert grand. These are possibly the finest of the Salis-Seewis settings.

Among the six settings of Johann Peter Uz (1720–1796) Die Nacht D.358 has the deepest emotions and should undoubtedly be heard more often. Die Liebesgötter is more or less a rococo pasticcio, sung and played with great enthusiasm, and the manuscript to An Chloen is damaged – the opening having only the bass line of the piano accompaniment. For the recording the musicians have tried to fill in a suitable beginning. To my ears it sounds convincing.

Of the remaining songs Heimliches Lieben to a text by Karoline Louise von Klenke (1754–1802) is a substantial piece, harmonically brave and with a dark intensity that places it on a par with Schubert’s late masterpieces. He was given the poem by his hostess during a stay in Graz in 1827 and its Deutsch number tells us that it was completed just after Winterreise.

Though the songs in themselves may be of variable interest the singing is definitely constantly on the high level I expected from Jan Kobow. Excellently accompanied on fortepiano by Ulrich Eisenlohr the readings are exquisite in an early 19th century manner. There is no breast-beating and superimposing of heavy accents. On the contrary what first strikes the listener is the superb legato, the beautiful tone and the fine sensitivity to nuance. I think it’s wrong to call them small-scale readings since that term implies – sometimes at least – facelessness. Kobow sings with a lot of face but the expressive compass is within a subtle range – there are no grimaces. Add to this his clear enunciation of the texts and his sensitive shadings of voice colour. This disc is ample proof of Jan Kobow being one of the most accomplished Lieder singers of his generation.

Göran Forsling

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




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.