Saturday, January 2, 2010

Schoenberg - Gurrelieder - Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker

Schoenberg - Gurrelieder - Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker
Vocal | Ape, cue | no log, cover | 2 CD, 452 MB
June 4, 2002 | EMI | RapidShare

Schoenberg's colossal Gurrelieder, a work premiered in 1913 under the baton of Franz Schreker, is central to both Rattle's repertoire and that of the Berlin Philharmonic (it was an Abbado speciality too), and here it receives a magnificent performance.

Schoenberg's melodic, tonal Wagnerian masterpiece Gurrelieder calls for one of the largest orchestras ever assembled on one concert platform, including 25 woodwind, 25 brass, 11 percussion, three four-part male voice choirs, and a mixed eight-part choir. Simon Rattle fondly remembers it as the "biggest score in Liverpool's Music Library."

In the interview with him that's included in the liner notes, he adds: "although 400 people are involved, Gurrelieder is in fact the world's largest string quartet." Through music of sumptuous beauty, it tells the story of a king, Waldemar, whose beautiful young mistress Tove is murdered by his wife. Waldemar joins a terrifying nighttime ride of skeletons and corpses while railing against God. Although the themes and sound-world are Wagnerian, Rattle treats the score like Strauss--using a light, even ironically Mozartean touch. The effect is overwhelmingly powerful, and the work's climaxes (the skeletons' "Wild hunt" and the massive "Hymn to the sun at the end") are all the more spine-tingling for the careful restraint and generally quick tempi that have gone before.

The singers couldn't be bettered. Tenor Thomas Moser has a rich baritone range perfect for the demanding role of Waldemar, the king whose lover is foully murdered. Karita Mattila is both creamy and intense as the lover in question. Philip Langridge and Anne Sofie von Otter are also in top form. Stunning. --Warwick Thompson

CD Content

Gurrelieder, Part One: Orchestral Prelude
Gurrelieder, Part One: Nun dämfpt die Dämm'rung (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part One: O, wenn des Mondes Strahlen (Tove)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Ross! Mein Ross! (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Sterne jubeln (Tove)
Gurrelieder, Part One: So tanzen die Engel vor Gottes Thron nicht (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Nun sag ich dir zum ersten mal (Tove)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Es ist Mitternachtszeit (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Du sendest mir einen Liebesblick (Tove)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Du wunderliche Tove! (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part One: Orchestral interlude
Gurrelieder, Part One: Tauben von Gurre (Waldtaube)

Gurrelieder, Part Two: Herrgott, weisst du, was du tatest
Gurrelieder, Part Three: Erwacht, König Waldemars Mannen wert! (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part Three: Deckel des Sarges klappert (Bauer & Chor)
Gurrelieder, Part Three: Gegrüsst, o König (Waldermars Männen)
Gurrelieder, Part Three: Mit Toves stimme flüstert der Wald (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part Three: 'Ein seltsamer Vogel ist so'n Aal' (Klaus-Narr)
Gurrelieder, Part Three: Du strenger Richter droben (Waldemar)
Gurrelieder, Part Three: Der Hahn erhebt den Kopf zur Kraht
Gurrelieder, Des Simmerwindes wilde Jagd: Orchestral Prelude
Gurrelieder, Des Simmerwindes wilde Jagd: Herr Gänsefuss, Frau Gänsekraut (Sprecher)
Gurrelieder, Des Simmerwindes wilde Jagd: Seht die Sonne (Chor)

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