Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Songs – vol. 5
CD 1
Lied zum Geburtstage meines guten Vaters [1.39]
Pauvre Jeanette [1.09]
Six Songs Op 99
1. Erster Verlust [3.06]
Des Madchens Klage [2.11]
Sanft weh'n im Hauch der Abendluft [2.48]
Six Songs Op 57
6. Wanderlied [1.47]
Das Waldschloss [2.05]
Six Songs Op 99
6. Es weiss und rat es doch Keiner [2.29]
Charlotte to Werther [3.22]
Sechs schottische National-Lieder:
O dinna ask me [1.50]
Mary's Dream [5.25]
We've a bonnie wee flower [2.35]
Saw ye Johnnie comin" [2.53]
The Flowers of the Forest [2.53]
The yellow-hair'd laddie [3.23]
Ave Maria [1.56]
Raste, Krieger! Krieg ist aus [1.50]
Volkslied: O säh' ich auf der Haide dort [2.01]
CD 2
Six Songs Op 47
1. Minnelied [1.27]
Es rauscht der Wald, es spring! der Quell [1.52]
Twelve Songs Op 9
1. Frage [1.40]
2. Gestandnis [2.15]
Weiter, rastlos, atemlos [1.10]
Weihnachtslied [2.41]
Von alien deinen zarten Gaben [2.22]
Wiegenlied [3.56]
Vier triibe Monden sind entflohn [3.09]
Lieben und Schweigen [2.44]
Suleiki [2.25]
So schlaf in Ruh! [3.00]
Todeslied der Bojaren [2.40]
Erwartung [2.50]
Und iiber dich wohl streut der Wind [1.30]
Weinend seh' ich in die Nacht [1.30]
Ch'io t'abbandono in periglio si grande [8.50]
Six Songs Op 47
4. Volkslied: Es ist bestimmt in Gottes Rat [3.42]
Katherine Broderick, Hannah Morrison (sopranos), Anna Grevelius (mezzo), Finnur Bjarnason (tenor), Stephan Loges, James Rutherford (baritones), Eugene Asti (piano)
rec. Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, Wales, 8-12 November 2008. DDD
HYPERION CDA67753 [46:12 + 50:57]

This two-disc set is the fifth in Hyperion’s Mendelssohn Songs and Duets series, initiated by pianist Eugene Asti, who is the sensitive accompanist for all songs on this set.

The first disc opens with one of the very first composition of Mendelssohn’s that we have: the song Lied zum Geburtstage meines guten Vaters. Composed at the tender age of 10, it shows incredible maturity, and is here sung by Katherine Broderick. Broderick has a pleasing, bright soprano, and she also sings the well-known Charlotte to Werther, performed with passion and understanding although her words aren’t desperately clear. Her rendition of Des Madchens Klage – the lament of a parted lover – is wonderfully atmospheric and tender. The other singers on the disc are of an equally high standard. Soprano Hannah Morrison also has a clear, light voice; whilst Anna Grevelius has a rich, mature mezzo that works very well for these songs. We first encounter her here in Erster Verlust, the only song on these two discs that sets Mendelssohn’s close friend, Goethe. Grevelius is also superb in the theatrical Das Waldschloss, and brings suitable gravitas to the beautiful Ave Maria. Tenor Finnur Bjarnason, meanwhile, has a very soft and gentle voice which is most appropriate for Sanft weh'n im Hauch der Abendluft. He performs the ensuing Wanderlied with suitable exuberance – good. He also gives a particularly impassioned and sensitive rendition of Frage on the second disc of the set. Baritone Stephan Loges gives a good account of himself with Volkslied, which concludes the first disc and which he imbues with apt tenderness and sweetness.

As well as individual songs, these discs include the Sechs schottische National-Lieder – exemplary performances from Hannah Morrison and James Rutherford. Disc two features as its climax the substantial Ch'io t'abbandono in periglio si grande, of which Rutherford gives a dramatic and virtuosic rendition, with his operatic, rich and flexible baritone.

On the whole, this is a superb set – beautiful songs, exquisitely sung and well-communicated. My only quibble is the lack of performer biographies in the otherwise informative and interesting booklet notes.

Em Marshall

A superb set – beautiful songs, exquisitely sung and well-communicated.