Label: SIGNUM U.K. 160Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano
William Dazeley, baritone
Iain Burnside, piano
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SONNETT FÜR WIEN – SONGS
ERICH KORNGOLD (1897 – 1957)
Sonnett für Wien, Op. 41;
Vier Abschiedslieder, Op. 14 (Sterbelied; Dies eine kann mein Sehnen nimmer fassen;
Mond, so gehst du wieder auf; Gefasster Abschied);
Drei Lieder, Op. 18 (In meine innige nacht; Tu ab den Schmerz; Versuchung);
Drei Lieder, Op. 22 (Was du mir bist?; Mit dir zu schweigen; Welt ist stille eingeschlafen);
Four Shakespeare Songs, Op. 31 (Desdemona’s song; Under the Greenwood tree; Blow, blow, thou winter wind; When birds do sing);
Unvergänglichkeit, Op. 27 (Unvergänglichkeit; Das eilende Bächlein; Das schlafende Kind; Stärker als der Tod; Unvergänglichkeit);
Songs of the Clown, Op. 29 (Come away death; O Mistress Mine; Adieu, Good Man Devil; Hey Robin; For the rain, it raineth every day);
Fünf Lieder, Op. 38 (Glückwunsch; Der Kranke; Alt-Spanisch; Old English Song; My Mistress’ Eyes)
Erich Korngold is perhaps best known as the pioneering émigré composer whose grand orchestral scores defined the sound of film during the golden age of Hollywood. As well as this though, his output for voice in the form of Lieder and Song highlighted the strong bond that Korngold forever held with his homeland and the city of Vienna, a place inextricably linked to the High-Romantic style that Korngold so ably perfected.
This collection of songs and lieder are beautifully performed by Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) and William Dazeley (baritone), accompanied by renowned pianist and broadcaster Iain Burnside.
REVIEW - EDITOR'S CHOICE GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE JULY 2009
A beautiful recital that could turn even the hardest hearts towards Korngold
Iain Burnside views Korngold as a somewhat sad figure who never quite achieved what he felt he should have done. And a sense of poignancy permeates this recital. There is pain aplenty in William Dazeley’s open-heartedness, as in Sarah Connolly’s dreaminess. Yet the pace is well varied in a programme which traverses Korngold’s various musical identities. -- Gramophone [7/2009]
There have been several discs of Korngold's Lieder, notably those by Dietrich Henschel, Stephen Kimbrough and Anne Sofie von Otter. Those for whom his music is an acquired taste may not feel the need for another CD, but this new collection is exceptionally well performed and recorded. The mixture of songs in German and English works very well, and having two voices sharing the songs in some groups means that any sense of monotony is avoided.
As in his operas and film scores, one can hear Korngold drawing on different influences -- there are a couple of songs that seem like affectionate parodies of Mahler, others in which he is moving away from his Viennese roots and assimilating American and English styles. The Four Shakespeare Songs, Op. 31, are particularly engaging, William Dazeley really letting go in "When birds do sing," and Sarah Conolly bringing all her artistry to bear on Desdemona's Willow song. Both singers are sometimes stretched to the limits of their resources, especially in Korngold's songs composed after the disappointing reception accorded to his "gargantuan" opera Das Wunder der Heliane. The first of the Drei Lieder, Op. 18, is a setting of a poem by Hans Kaltneker (author of Heliane), "In meine innige Nacht," which Dazeley sings with great intensity. Korngold's last song, "Sonnet für Wien" (which gives the disc its title) is another, posthumously published, poem by Kaltneker. In this song, one feels that Korngold was bidding farewell not only to Vienna, the city of his youthful success, but to music and life itself. Iain Burnside plays Korngold's often fiercely difficult accompaniments with obvious affection and relish. This is a very beautiful disc which I would recommend even to those who think they don't care for Korngold's style. -- Patrick O'Connor, Gramophone [7/2009]