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Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907)
see end of review for track listing
Roman Trekel (baritone), Hartmut Höll (piano)
rec. Studio Steingraeber & Söhne, Bayreuth, 9-12 November 2009.
CAPRICCIO C5058 [63:00]

Not content with recording Thuille’s string quartets with the Signum Quartet on C5049 Capriccio next turn to his Lieder. 

Matthias Wiegandt's note for this disc tells us that there was a Munich school to which Thuille belonged. Its other members were Clemens von Franckenstein, Richard Wetz and Paul von Klenau. Wetz’s three symphonies have been recorded by Sterling (review) and CPO (review). Klenau’s music has been taken up, at least in part, by Dacapo (review ~ review ~ review). I hope that there is more to come from that source including his reputedly tempestuous and inventive operas. Thuille tutored many composers including Ernest Bloch.
Thuille’s music has its intrinsic pleasures though he can also be seen as a sort of precursor to his younger friend, Richard Strauss. This German composer was of approximately the same generation as Mahler but older-fashioned and happy to slake his thirst from the Romantic mainstream as we know from his orchestral and chamber music.
Unlike Schoeck and Diepenbrock the mood of these songs is well varied both in text and in musical treatment. The poets set include Eichendorff, Keller and Julius Bierbaum alongside the lesser known Gustav Falke, Carl Hauptmann, Heinrich Leuthold and Robert Hamerling. The linguistic limits within which Thuille operates are marked out by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. There are dramatic songs such as the surging Waldesgang but we also encounter hushed seraphic scenas such as Botschaft and magically poised settings like Waldeinsamkeit. Die Nacht reflects a mysterious slow whirlpool of emotion. In meine traumer heimat is saturatedly intense. Trekel is in strong clear voice as he is also in the Toccata set of Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ Sappho opera. His voice is resiliently lively and sanguine of tone. Just listen to him when it comes to In goldener Fülle. Thuille is well served here both by Trekel with lieder and by stalwart accompanist Hartmut Holl.
Capriccio provide background notes and print his songs’ texts in the original German but without translations into English.
Worth bearing in mind that there is also an Oehms CD (OC 805) of Thuille’s lieder. It contains: 5 Lieder, Op. 4, 5 Lieder, Op. 19, 3 Brentano Lieder, Op. 24, 3 Mädchenlieder, Op. 36, 3 Eichendorff Lieder for 3 Solo Women’s Voices. The singers are Rebecca Broberg (soprano), Frank Strobel (piano) with Ksenija Lukic (soprano) and Heike Kohler (alto). If you develop a taste for Thuille’s songwriting then that would be your next stopping off point.
Thuille’s Piano Concerto and Symphony of the mid-1880s have been recorded by CPO. Much missed ASV and thankfully still with us CPO gave us the two Piano Quintets as did Champs Hill as part of a wider-ranging selection of the chamber music.
Do read Eric Schissel’s fine article about Thuille. It sets the scene in admirable detail.
Thuille is a serious entrant in the lieder stakes - exponents and enthusiast of the lied need to hear this Capriccio disc. Discoveries await and good ones too.
Rob Barnett   

Track listing
Im Mai, Op. 4. No. 3;
Allerseelen, Op. 4, No. 4;
Ganymed, Op. 4, No. 5;
Waldesgang, Op. 7, No. 1;
Nachtlied, Op. 7, No. 3;
Botschaft, Op. 7, No. 4;
Nächtliche Pfade, Op. 7, No. 5;
Nicht daheim, Op. 7, No. 6;
Jahreszeiten, Op. 7, No. 8;
Waldeinsamkeit, Op. 12, No. 1;
Die Nacht, Op. 12, No. 2;
Sehnsucht, Op. 15, No. 2;
Des Narren Regenlied, Op. 19, No. 3;
Zauberblick, Op. 26, No. 1;
Der traurige Jäger, Op. 26, No. 2;
Devotionale, Op. 27, No. 1;
In meiner Träume Heimat, Op. 27, No. 2;
In goldener Fülle, Op. 27, No. 3;
Die Insel der Vergessenheit, Op. 27, No. 4;
Der Alte, Op. 32, No. 2;
Abendlied, Op. 32, No. 3;

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