Ingen Blomst I Verdens Lande
Peter A. HEISE (1830-1879)
Digte fra det Engelske (1876)
Pilen og sangen (Longfellow) [2:02]
Vandrerne (Shelley) [1:47]
Ingen Blomst i Verdens Lande (Byron) [2:30]
Ekko (Moore) [1:55]
Bryd! bryd! bryd! (Tennyson) [2:16]
Vaage maa jeg, ak! (Robert Burns) [2:35]
Friedrich KUHLAU (1786-1832)
Rastlose Liebe [3:08]
Drey Gedichte aus Gerstenbergs poetischen Wäldchen, op. 21
Der erste Mai [2:22]
Der Traum [3:54]
Orpheus [7:40]
Christian BARNEKOW (1837-1913)
Fire folkesange efter det russiske ved Thor Lange, op. 14
Hørt jeg har [3:18] ¹
Skin du frem[3:19] ¹
Ak, paa Gjærdet Pilen tætte Knopper sætter [4:50] ¹
Fjernt paa Marken staar den slanke Hvidbirk [2:52] ¹
Julius BECHGAARD (1843-1917)
Lyriske Sange: Digte af Ernst v. d. Recke, op. 19
Tidt, naar jeg sidder ene paa mit Kammer [2:46]
Mig tyktes, du stod ved mit Leje [2:46]
Duggen er falden [2:52]
Hun er saa let som Skovens fejre Hind [1:53]
Hun sover i Ly af den blomstrende Lind [2:00]
Hvorhen i Verden jeg gaar min Sti [4:12]
Blomst underskjøn; Der voxer en Blomst [5:04]
Erik Bekker Hansen (tenor)
Camilla Toldi Bugge (soprano)
Ellen Refstrup (piano)
rec. February-June 2010. Kammermusiksalen, Musikhuset, Aarhus
Texts and translations included

The English translation of the disc’s title runs ‘Be there none of beauty’s daughters’ and represents a poetic sensibility reflected in these nineteenth century Danish romances. The texts set come from a variety of sources, among which the settings of English poetry will be perhaps the most surprising, and the ethos throughout is that of post-Schubertian lied and ballad.

It would actually make a good musical quiz question; which composer set Longfellow, Shelley, Byron, Tennyson, Burns and George Moore in his 1876 collection? Doubtless one would wander around thinking of the usual suspects – Sullivan, Parry, or some other worthy. The answer is, in fact, Peter Arnold Heise, who studied in Leipzig, and was acutely interested in settings of English poets, albeit translated into Norwegian. The sensibility gravitates to Schumann at points, though the Byron setting – the one that lends its name to the disc’s title – leans more to Schubert. The little ‘catch’ in the piano part suits the Thomas Moore poem nicely, vesting it an approving ballad air, though the most dramatic is Tennyson’s ‘Break, break, break’ which draws from Heise an almost operatic scena-like intensity. The concluding setting is of Burns’s, ‘Summer’s a pleasant time’.

Kuhlau is probably best known for his inventive and congenial piano scores, but he wrote well for the voice. His ebullient setting of Goethe’s Rastlose Liebe is a winner, and one can always enjoy the poised, often pert piano writing in such as Der erste Mai from his Op.21 set which conflates Mozart and Schubert adeptly as dual influences. The single longest setting is of Orpheus, which reminds me somewhat of the ballad settings of Loewe.

Christian Barnekow (1837-1913) was an organist and composer, and also an able administrator. His Op.14 set of four songs occupy firmly the lighter ballad style, but Julius Bechgaard, a near contemporary, offers at once more ambitious and also over-extended settings. The seven songs that make up his Op.19 collections of lyrical songs are nicely varied, but sometimes simply too long for the material, the last being a particular case in point.

The bulk of the performances are taken by the light-toned, mellifluous tenor Erik Bekker Hansen ably accompanied by Ellen Refstrup. Soprano Camilla Toldi Bugge takes the Rastlose Liebe setting and duets with Hansen on the Barnekow settings. She sounds to have been caught on an off day.

Jonathan Woolf

Which composer set Longfellow, Shelley, Byron, Tennyson, Burns and George Moore in his 1876 collection?