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Das Anhören dieser CD ist ein Genuss, und man versteht nicht recht, warum diese kostbaren Lieder nicht öfter zu hören sind. Insbesondere die ersten Lieder dieser CD, die Joseph Marx in noch eher jungen Jahren komponiert hat, beeindrucken in ihrer Kompaktheit, sie sind inspiriert, eingängig und kunstvoll. Bei dem späteren Liederzyklus "Verklärtes Jahr" siegt dann schon eher das Kunstgewerbe über die Kunst. Angela Maria Blasi, im Liedgesang offensichtlich nicht wirklich zuhause, singt die Lieder mit ihrem schönen lyrischen Sopran arios, wenn auch völlig unidiomatisch und meist textunverständlich. Stella Doufexis, Mezzosopran, hat das undankbarere Material zur Verfügung, gestaltet ihren Part aber nachdrücklich; ich hätte mir nur eine strömendere Höhe gewünscht. Steven Sloane webt mit dem Bochumer Symphonie-Orchester den Klangteppich, der dankenswerter Weise bei aller Klangpracht auch differenziert und durchhörbar bleibt. Alles in allem eine empfehlenswerte CD mit echten (Wieder-)Entdeckungen des Orchesterliedgesangs.
Ce disque est absolument magnifique et d'une intense émotion lorsque l'on connait la courte et tragique vie de ce génial compositeur. Oui, la symphonie n°1 révèle bien des inspirations wagnériennes et c'est très bien. Quelle extraordinaire puissance musicale riche de successions de mélodies pathétiques! Vraiment à recommander pour tous ceux qui aiment la musique symphonique post-romantique, et les autres bien évidemment.
Über die politische Rolle von Joseph Marx im "Dritten Reich" ist oft und leidenschaftlich gestritten worden (Furtwängler scheint ihn für mitverantwortlich gehalten zu haben, andere bestreiten das mit Nachdruck) - gleichviel: Marx' Kompositionen sind filigranste Spätromantik voller Klangschönheit und Erfindungsreichtum, offensichtlich wegen der Dominanz der zweiten Wiener Schule und ihrer seriellen Nachfolger im Musikleben der Nachkriegszeit zu Unrecht vergessen. Diese Lieder sind Musik für jeden, der bedauert, dass Strauss "Vier letzte Lieder" seine letzten waren, glänzend dargeboten insbesondere von der Mezzosopranistin Stella Doufexis. Eine überfällige Wiederentdeckung.
Produkt wie erwartet zu fairem Preis. Hätte nur Hermes nicht behauptet, man habe die Ware schon am Samstag 6.03.21 im HermesshopGochsheim zustellen wollen. Es geht doch auch ehrlich, wenn man überlastet ist.
It took ten years for me to finally track down this 2003 Stradivarius disc! I ordered it in June 2005, but the order was never fulfilled, and it was eventually cancelled -- disregard the Verified Purchase label above the review. There were no copies available, and with time I reluctantly moved on and forgot about it.
Then Neos put out a
new disc of Donatoni's orchestral works
in 2014. That rekindled my interest. And I finally heard the Donatoni ensemble works performed by
Boulez and the Ensemble Intercontemporain
, which are superb. So I looked again, and finally found a used copy, in June 2015. Hurrah!
(There was an Orchestral Works, Volume I as well, released in 2000, but I have never seen an available copy.)
These recordings are from January and March, 2002. Arturo Tamayo leads the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra:
These are stunningly good modern works for orchestra that can stand alongside the best orchestral works by Xenakis, Carter, and Ligeti. They are bold and forceful, dynamic, and colorful. The two earliest works could not be more different. "Doubles II" moves rapidly through ever-changing instrumental groups and motives featuring the harp, while "Voci" grinds slowly with periodic eruptions, reminding me of the central movement of
orchestral works by Riehm
that I recently discovered.
The disc leads with the vivacious "Arie" for soprano and orchestra. It consists of five movements, each a love song by a different poet, including Omar Khayyam, Renato Maestri, and Tiziana Furnagalli. The lyrics are only provided in Italian, but they are not necessary to appreciate Pilar Jurado's radiant voice and Donatoni's gorgeous vocal and orchestral writing. He shows that he is fully capable of Italianate lyricism, drawing on the rich Italian tradition of vocal music. Finally, "Prom" is dark and dynamic with sudden stops and starts and a conclusion with pealing bells.
Tamayo has led the recordings of orchestral cycles by Xenakis and Maderna, and he is expert in the most challenging of modern and contemporary music. This is a great addition to the collection of anyone passionate about 20th century avant-garde works for orchestra!
*** *** *** Franco Donatoni (1927-2000) studied at Darmstadt and was well-versed in serialism before forging his own voice. After several crises of confidence, and the production of superb works including several on this album, he found methods and a path that led to tremendous productivity in his final years, the Eighties and Nineties. His stunningly effective methods of transformation were never turned into a system or school with a name like serialism or spectralism, but remained idiosyncratic like Scelsi and Sciarrino. Inspired by his teacher Bruno Maderna, he became teacher to many Italian composers, including Fausto Romitelli, Ivan Fedele, and Giovanni Verrando.
This CD, containing a wide variety of music by Eugene Zador, is much more dynamic and pulsating than his other music - "Five Contrasts", "A Children's Symphony", "Aria and Allegro", etc. - to be found on another CD that I reviewed previously on Amazon. Some of the motifs here are even more reminiscent of Miklos Rozsa for whom Zador served as orchestrator for decades. Parts of the "Elegie and Dance" have some of the same bounce and rhythmic vitality to be heard in comparable symphonic music by Rozsa. Indeed, certain sections of the "Divertimento for Strings" brought to mind a partial Rozsa theme from "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes". A few more passages were evocative of Bartok. In the end, of course, it is all Zador going back to his Hungarian roots. Furthermore, his symphonic music has a more contemporary feel since it was composed in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It deserves a listening.
[Update: This disc has just been nominated for a Grammy award.]
The review here dated August 7 was written by Berkant Haydin, an expert on the music of Joseph Marx, and I certainly don't have much to add to what he's written. Indeed, he also co-wrote the booklet notes for this release and his review is actually an abstract of those notes.
He's certainly right in saying that Marx's orchestral songs are luscious. The first set, eleven songs sung to perfection by soprano Angela Maria Blasi, are mostly short, usually strophic and have brilliant orchestral accompaniments and melodies reminiscent of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. Marx was not only a master orchestrator, he had a fecund melodic gift. The last song (and longest at seven minutes), 'Barkarole,' ('Barcarolle') is rather different in that it is almost a symphonic poem with voice obbligato.
The next two sets of songs (six 'Songs for Middle Voice,' and 'Verklärtes Jahr' ['Transfigured Year'], a 'song symphony' of five movements) are sung by mezzo Stella Doufexis and unfortunately suffer a bit, to my ears, from the somewhat wearing quality of her voice, which seems to lack some degree of support and a clear central core. The songs themselves, however, are simply lovely. In the later set, written in 1930-1932, what has been called 'Romantic impressionism' is evident in the extremely intricate and wholly lovely orchestral writing. There are many moments that sound almost like Respighi, which is not too far-fetched as some of the music was inspired by Marx's love of Italy. Further, it quotes from his Second Piano Concerto, subtitled 'Castelli Romani' ('Roman Castles'). So, while Doufexis's performance leaves a bit to be desired, the music itself is extremely winning and deserves to be better known.
I understand that there is a real possibility that Marx's two piano concerti will be recorded and released some time in the next year or so. I have, through the kindness of Mr Haydin, heard old off-the-air recordings of those concerti and am eager to hear modern performances. And we're still awaiting a first recording of what some might consider Marx's masterpiece, his monumental 'Herbstsymphonie' ('Autumn Symphony').