Magazine article Opera Canada

Marx: Orchestral Songs

Magazine article Opera Canada

Marx: Orchestral Songs

Article excerpt

MARX

Orchestral Songs

ASV: DCA 1164 (1 CD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

WOLF

Prometheus: Orchestral Songs

Harmonia Mundi: HMC 901837 (1 CD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In a year marked by a flood of reissues and a comparative drought of new recordings, these two discs of rarely heard orchestral settings of songs by Joseph Marx (1882-1964) and Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) have given enormous pleasure. Twenty-four of Wolf's familiar songs for voice and piano take on new life in this marvellous collection featuring the composer's own orchestrations: from the tender and unaffected "Gebet, Schlafendes Jesuskind" and "An den Schlaf" to the four settings from his Spanisches Liederbuch (which eventually found their way into his operas, Der Corregidor and the incomplete Manuel Venegas). Also included is a version of the powerful ballad "Der Feuerreiter" in a thrillingly operatic setting for chorus and orchestra. German soprano Juliane Banse, an accomplished recitalist, is outstanding, while her compatriot baritone, Dietrich Henschel--also a great Lieder singer--has a timbre that sounds freakishly like that of a young Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Kent Nagano conducts the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Rundfunkchor Berlin. …

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