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Volkslieder - Volume 2
Traditional German Folksongs
Various artists
rec. 2001-2010
Full details at end of review
CARUS 83.004 [53.38]

Experience Classicsonline

This rather charming disc is part of a project to record and disseminate German folksongs, Volkslieder (see review of Volume 1). It involves not only a sequence of CD recordings but also music books and accompaniment discs. The idea is to get people singing, presumably mainly German-speaking people. The project promotes singing with children and for each CD sold a donation is made to German musical projects. All the artists have participated without a fee.
For an English-speaking critic the interest of the disc and associated project is less in the promotion of singing and more the access to German Volkslieder. Unlike English folk-songs, which were mainly collected in the late 19th/early 20th century, the songs on this disc appeared in print in the late 18th/early 19th century.
The booklet, with its colourful drawings, is attractive and includes full texts and English translations. The individual songs also include the origin information but only in German and without any elucidation as to their regional significance. I would have liked to have learned more about where the songs came from. It wasn’t really enough to read that ‘In Märzen der Bauer’ (In March the Farmer) comes from a collection called “Volkslied aus Mähren”, published in 1884. I’d like to know a lot more.
The songs are performed in quite a wide variety of styles. The disc opens with Jonas Kaufmann on top form in ‘Die Gedanken sind frei’ from a collection published in Leipzig in 1842, “Schlesiche Volkslieder”. This is Kaufmann’s only contribution. Most singers perform just one or two items, thus giving a wide variety of vocal styles. This complements quite neatly the range of arrangements in which the songs are presented, though most are straightforward. Other major names include Kurt Moll who sings a lively rendition of ’O, du lieber Augustin’ and Juliane Banse. Accompaniment is mainly piano, but we also have guitar, viola da gamba and even a gamba consort.
In addition to this there are a number of choral versions, from groups as varied as Die Singphoniker, the children’s chorus of Stuttgart Staatsoper, the Dresden chamber choir, Singer Pur and the vocal ensemble Rastatt.
Finally there are several instrumental items, presented for saxophone and piano, accordion and bassoon, violin and piano.
‘Dat du min Leevst bust’ is notable in this company being sung by a folk duo in a markedly different style to the rest of the disc.
The performances are never less than creditable, generally simple and direct which is what the songs need. These are straightforward accounts of songs which have made the initial transition from folk-song to printed art song. No-one tries too hard or tries to make more of the songs than is needed.
You can treat this disc a number of ways. You might care to invest in the other media associated with the project and get singing or you may find it interesting and illuminating as a backdrop to the development of the German lied and its relation to the Volkslied. On the other hand you could just sit back and listen.
Robert Hugill
Full tracklisting & performance details
Die Gedanken sing frei (1) [1.45]
Es geht ein dunkle Wolk herein (2) [1.21]
Wem Gott will rechte Gunst erweisen (3) [1.11]
Traditional -Als wir jüngst in Regensburg waren (4) [1.06]
Ich Weiss nicht, was soll es bedeuten (5) [2.37]
Dat du min Leevste bust (6) [3.24]
Es waren zwei Königskinder (7) [4.17]
Im Märzen der Bauer (8) [1.14]
Heut kommt der Hans zu mir (9) [1.21]
Der Mai is gekommen (10) [2.59]
Wie schön blüht uns die Maien (11) [1.35]
Ein Jäger aus Kurpfalz (12) [0.56]
An der Saale hellem Strande (13) [1.40]
Widele, wedele (14) [1.54]
Es war ein König in Thule (15) [3.52]
War ein Blümchen mir geschenket (16) [0.55]
Es führt über den Main (17) [2.26]
Bunt sind schon die Wälder (18) [1.24]
Horch, was kommt von draussen rein (19) [1.00]
Ich ging durch einen grasgrünen Wald (20) [2.01]
O, du lieber Augustin (21) [0.48]
Es, es, es und es (22) [3.12]
Es freit ein wilder Wassermann (23) [1.42]
In einem Harung (24) [1.32]
Vöglein im hohen Baum (25) [1.59]
Des Abends (26) [1.29]
Ade zur guten Nacht (27) [2.39]
Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) (1)
Monika Mauch (soprano) (2)
Philip Niederberger (baritone) (3, 13)
Johannes Kaleschke (tenor) (3)
Konstantin Wecker (voice) (6)
Hannes Wader (voice) (6)
Juliane Banse (soprano) (7)
Julia Kleiter (soprano) (10)
Franz Vizthum (counter tenor) (11)
Sarah Wegener (soprano) (14)
Cornelia Kalisch (mezzo-soprano) (15)
Christine Müller (mezzo-soprano) (17)
Stephan Genz (baritone) (18)
Kurt Moll (bass) (21)
Margarete Joswig (mezzo-soprano) (23)
Markus Schäfer (tenor) (25)
Birgid Steinberger (soprano) (27)
Christine Busch (violin) (4, 16, 19)
Libor Sima (saxophone, bassoon) (8, 12, 24)
Jan Philip Schulze (piano) (1, 23)
Hugh Sandilands (guitar) (2)
Barbara Pfeifer (viola da gamba) (2)
Frank Ambruster (guitar) (3)
Juliane Ruf (piano) (4, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16, 19)
Michael Gees (piano) (10)
Gambenconsort Les Escapades (11)
Anna Maria Hölscher (accordion) (12, 24)
Ensemble Licht und Schatten (14)
Gotz Payer (piano) (17)
Eric Schneider (piano) (18)
Stefan Irmer (piano) (21)
Matthias Veit (piano) (25)
Die Singphoniker (5)
Kinderchor der Staatsoper Stuttgart (9)
Dresdner Kammerchor (20)
Singer Pur (22)
Vocalensemble Rastatt (26)
Recorded 23.09.2010 Studio 1 des Bayerischen Rundkunks, Munich (1)
2.9.2010 Hans Rosbaud Studio des SWR, Baden-Baden (2)
22.10.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (3)
27.6.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (4)
30.6.2004 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (5)
18/19.3.2010 Theaterhaus Stuttgart (6)
17.9.2009 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (7)
9.7.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (8)
23.7.2010 Chorsaal der Staatsoper Stuttgart (9)
19.8.2009 Klaus von Bismarck Saal des WDR, Cologne (10)
23.7.2010 Hans Rosbaud Studio des SWR, Baden-Baden (11)
9.7.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (12)
22.10.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (13)
24.08.2010 Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart Botnang (14)
22.10.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (15)
27.6.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (16)
16.11.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (17)
8.12.2009 Siemensvilla, Deutschlandradio, Berlin (18)
27.6.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (19)
19-26.2.2006 Lukaskirche Dresden (20)
18.8.2009 Klaus von Bismarck Saal des WDR, Koln (21)
3.3.2005 Bayerische Musikakademie Marktoberdorf (22)
23.9.2010 Studio 1 des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich (23)
9.7.2010 Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart (24)
4.6.2009 Siemensvilla, Deutschlandsradio (25)
20-24.9.2009 Hans-Rosbaud Studio, Baden-Baden (26)
July 2001 - Private Studio, Vienna (27)



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