Magazine article Gramophone

Thuille: Funf Lieder

Magazine article Gramophone

Thuille: Funf Lieder

Article excerpt


Funf Lieder, Op 4. Drei Frauenlieder von Karl Stieler, Op 5. Drei Gesange, Op 12. Drei Lieder, Op 15. Funf Lieder, Op 19. Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Clemens Brentano, Op 24. Drei Lieder, Op 26. Drei Lieder, Op 31. Drei Madchenlieder nach Gedichten von Wilhelm Hertz, Op 36

Mary Bevan, Sophie Bevan sops

Jennifer Johnston mez Joseph Middleton pf

Champs Hill [S] [2] CHRCDO63 (88' * DDD * T/t)

Champs Hill Records has already given us a set of chamber music by Ludwig Thuille, the talented Munich composer and childhood friend of Richard Strauss. This release offers a generous and welcome conspectus of his song output. Comparisons with Strauss (the two men set some of the same texts) and other well-known contemporaries are inevitable, and they reveal Thuille as fluent but conservative, highly skilled at musical description but reluctant--or unable--to capture the psychological depth that distinguishes the best song composers.

For a fin de siecle composer, his songs also occasionally seem almost prudish. This is the case with 'Ganymed' (a setting not of Goethe but of the Austrian poet Robert Hamerling) and Thuille's responses to 'Allerseelen' and 'Die Nacht', which sound dutiful and distinctly PG when compared with Strauss's unapologetically grown-up settings. …

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