One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation


absolutely thrilling


immediacy and spontaneity


Schumann Lieder


24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs


‘Box of Delights.’


J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue


GERNSHEIM Quartets
a most welcome issue


I enjoyed it tremendously


the finest traditions of the house


music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message


ground-breaking, winning release


Charpentier
screams quality


Surprise of the month


English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Peter CORNELIUS (1824-1874)
Complete Lieder - Volume 4
Neun Geistliche Lieder Op. 2 (Vater unser) [24:53]; Marienlieder (Vergine) [9:38]; Ave Maria [2:10]; Weihnachtslieder Op 8 [20:27]
Christina Landshamer (soprano); Markus Schäfer (tenor); Hans Christoph Bergemann, Mathias Hausmann (baritones); Matthias Veit (piano)
rec. Studio 2, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich, 14-15 January, 20 September 2010, 24 January, 12 February 2011, 20 January 2012
texts and English translations from the Naxos website
NAXOS 8.572859 [57:16]

I suspect that I may not be alone in my ignorance of Peter Cornelius’ music beyond The Barber of Bagdad and the Christmas songs included in this recital. That is clearly my loss, and one I hope to make good soon given that what is heard here is imaginative, interesting and enjoyable, and, fortunately, well performed and well presented.
 
This is the final volume of his complete lieder, containing his religious songs (see review of Volumes 1-3). The first set is the most remarkable. The Nine Songs Op. 2 are each derived from a phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. The relevant phrase is sung in Latin to plainsong before the song whose music derives from that phrase. The words are by Cornelius, who regarded himself as much a poet as a composer, and may not in themselves appeal greatly to a modern non-Catholic listener. They are the inspiration nonetheless for music that is varied and uniformly mellifluous. These are sung by Markus Schäfer, a tenor with a very appealing voice — just right for these beautiful if undramatic songs.
 
The Christmas Songs Op. 8 are occasionally heard as a whole in recitals although the third – The Three Kings – is a staple of Christmas concerts in a choral transcription. I have always found hearing this version a frustrating experience as the addition of sung words to the chorale (Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern) which underlies the declamation of the soloist means that neither is heard clearly. How much better it is as heard here in its original version with the chorale played on the piano and the soloist’s words clearly audible. The admirable booklet notes by Marcus Imbsweiler explain that this setting follows a suggestion by Liszt, a friend of the composer. The disc has the excellent idea of including also the composer’s first setting of the words in which a slow march presumably illustrates the slow progress of the Kings. This makes a illuminating comparison. Both versions are valid but it is immediately obvious why the second has achieved such popularity. The other songs in the cycle are varied, their differences being made more obvious by dividing them appropriately amongst the singers. The Marienlieder are settings, in Italian, of Petrarch, of a more purely lyrical type, and they are allocated between two singers.
 
All of the singers clearly note the poet/composer’s concern with words as much as with music, and project the text with great clarity. Matthias Veit is the accompanist throughout, reacting instinctively to the singers and playing with warmth and beauty of tone. Even if you do not follow the words there is enough beauty of sound to engage the listener, but to get full enjoyment it is essential to be aware of the texts. Naxos have provided the necessary text and translations on their website and this is a crucial part of the whole.
 
All in all, this disc was an unexpected major pleasure which will encourage me to seek the three earlier discs in the series. This is undemonstrative but fascinating and delightful music, well performed and well presented.
 
John Sheppard