Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


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

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



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
 

 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 (1816) [13:49]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Schwanengesang, D957 [53:35]
James Gilchrist (tenor); Anna Tilbrook (piano)
rec. 13-14 May 2010, Potton Hall, Suffolk
German texts and English translations included
ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100013 [67:34]

Experience Classicsonline



Last year I reviewed a recording of Die schöne Müllerin by these same artists and although I had some reservations, mainly interpretative, I found much to enjoy. This follow-up release offers another example of this fine tenor in the lieder repertoire and singing songs that quite clearly mean a lot to him.

He writes in an interesting booklet essay that An die ferne Geliebte is a work that he’s known since his school days; it was one of the first pieces in the song repertoire that he properly learned. As a concert artist with significant experience behind him, he has committed his interpretation to disc. He gives a fine performance. In the first song his light, easy tone is just right for the young man’s wistful recollection of the first meeting with his beloved. Gilchrist leans into a few notes for emphasis and he judges this effect with discrimination. Later, in the third song, ‘Lecht Segler in den Höhen’, he and pianist Anna Tilbrook invest the music with the right degree of lightness – their crisp rhythms help here and in the following song. Finally, as Beethoven reverts to a slower tempo for the last song, ‘Nimm sie hin denn, diese lieder’, Gilchrist’s legato line is winningly spun. There’s a very fine use of head voice at the line ‘Hinter jener Bergeshöh’ and he brings a compelling urgency to the final stanza.

In some of his vocal writing – one thinks of the Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis – Beethoven’s vocal writing is, at times, downright inconsiderate to the human voice. There’s none of that in An die ferne Geliebte. The vocal line lies nicely at all times and these songs are grateful, rather than punishing, to sing. The cycle suits James Gilchrist’s voice admirably and his vocal timbre seems very well suited to Beethoven’s music.

He also seems thoroughly at home in Schwanengesang. His light, somewhat sappy tone is well suited to the wistful melancholy of ‘Ständchen’ – he delivers this celebrated song with fine feeling. He’s also well suited to ‘Liebesbotschaft’ and ‘Frülingssehnsucht’ for the same reason. But what impresses even more is the intensity that he brings to some of the other songs. In ‘Die Stadt’ the intensity is achieved through a glacial tone at the start and, by way of contrast, much more histrionic power for the third stanza. More “conventional” intensity is achieved in a song such as ‘Der Atlas’, for which Gilchrist has the necessary rhetorical power, and he invests ‘Aufenthalt’ with both power and anguish.

I greatly admired the dynamic range he employs in ‘Der Doppelgänger’. He gives an extraordinarily intense and expertly controlled reading of this gaunt, bleak song. Equally admirable is the restraint with which he sings ‘Ihr Bild’; that quality of restraint is highly appropriate to this concentrated, spare song.

I’ve never been sure about ‘Die Taubenpost’. It sits oddly with many of the preceding songs, and especially as an envoi to the collection. One wonders why Tobias Haslinger tacked it on to the remainder of the collection when publishing Schwanengesang after Schubert’s death. Maybe he was wary of rounding off this collection of songs with the bleak vision of ‘Der Doppelgänger’. As it is, the bitter-sweet, light song that is ‘Die Taubenpost’ does seem at odds with much of what has preceded it. On the other hand, it serves to emphasise that Schwanengesang is a not a cycle but a collection – and not one made by the composer. Gilchrist sings the song delightfully and Anna Tilbrook, whose piano playing has been exemplary throughout the preceding thirteen songs – and, indeed, in the Beethoven - accompanies with a lovely touch.

This is a most enjoyable and rewarding recital. The performances are consistently excellent and both the recorded sound and the documentation are very good. With Die schöne Müllerin and Schwanengesang now both safely ‘in the can’ will James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook go on to record Winterreise? I hope so.

John Quinn

Masterwork Index: Schwanengesang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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






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.