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Blacher: Der Grossinquisitor


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Product details

  • Conductor: Herbert Kegel
  • Composer: Blacher
  • Audio CD (20 May 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B00BX2JLPE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,700 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Nach seiner unendlichen Barmherzigkeit" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 3:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Unmerklich und leise kommt er daher" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 4:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Aus der Menge tönt es laut" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Die Stufen des Doms von Sevilla" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 6:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Da schreitet plötzlich über den weiten Platz" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 4:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Alla marcia"Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel0:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 1: "Einmütig, wie von gleichem Willen gelenkt" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 1:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "Langsam neigt sich der Tag" (Chorus)Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 2:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "Bist Du es wirklich" (Baritone)Siegmund Nimsgern, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 4:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "Der furchtbare und kluge Geist" (Baritone, Chorus)Siegmund Nimsgern, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 5:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "Drei Mächte sind es allein" (Baritone, Chorus)Siegmund Nimsgern, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 6:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "So höre denn" (Baritone, Chorus)Siegmund Nimsgern, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 3:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "Du rühmst Dich Deiner Auserwählten" (Baritone, Chorus)Siegmund Nimsgern, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 5:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Der Großinquisitor, Pt. 2: "Wisse denn, ich fürchte Dich nicht" (Baritone, Chorus)Siegmund Nimsgern, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonie & Herbert Kegel 6:32£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Boris Blachers oratorio, Der Großinquisitor, was only half finished in 1943. Having found himself in truly dire straits forced to withdraw from musical life thanks to his inclusion on the Nazi register of Jews in music, and hit by a particularly nasty relapse of tuberculosis it took the friendship and hospitality of his pupil, Gottfried von Einem, to help him regain his health and confidence, and finish the oratorio. The text is based on Dostoyevskys novel, The Brothers Karamazov, illustrating Jesuss return to earth in 16thcentury Seville. The depiction of the heretics burned to the glory of God could not be a clearer reflection of the fate of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Distinct from the other works in Blachers oeuvre thanks to its seriousness and tonal harmony, Der Großinquisitor also contains elements that are typical of the composers style, such as terse rhythms and seemingly aimless melodic lines. The role of the Inquisitor is sung by German bassbaritone, Siegmund Nimsgern, who has enjoyed an international career as an opera singer, performing with the Royal Opera (London), Metropolitan Opera (New York) and the Vienna State Opera, among others. Alongside him is the Rundfunkchor Leipzig and Dresdner Philharmonie, conducted by Herbert Kegel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mr. R. Allen on 23 Oct 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A little known work by Boris Blacher best known for his wonderful 'Concertante Music'. EXcellent choral and orchestral work from the Dresden musicians. This should have wide appeal for those conservative listeners who want to expand their listening experiences.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Very good performance of rare wartime oratorio (no text translation, though) 25 Oct 2014
By G.C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Given the circumstances, its amazing to read that Boris Blacher (1903-1975) survived the years 1933-1945 in Germany and Austria, if for no other reason than that he was Jewish. For that very reason, performances of his music were banned in Germany during that time. It's then all the more impressive that he managed to compose an oratorio based on the 'Grand Inquisitor' passage in Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" during those years, specifically 1942-1943. It was evidently a close thing, though, since the liner notes indicate that he suffered from ill health, and was quite depressed and even close to suicide during that time. Fortunately for himself and us, he lived to keep composing, and kind of have the last laugh, in a way. Likewise, it was also fortunate that the conductor Leo Borchard was able to help Blacher on the text of the second part of the oratorio, by compiling texts based on passages from Matthew 4:1-11. This oratorio received its premiere in 1947. Sadly, Borchard did not live to witness this, because of his death in Berlin in 1945, after the end of the war, when American soldiers fired on his car after it had run past a security checkpoint.

Blacher uses a very straightforward and approachable idiom in this work, with nothing at all of the avant-garde. However, this was not necessarily because of the particular political circumstances of his surroundings, as his music was banned from performance at the time anyway. AFAICT, that kind of radical harmonic style apparently was not really his musical nature regardless. Some passages are reminiscent, at least to this listener, of Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex' in their monumental manner. Likewise, the text communicates directly, perhaps none too subtly at times, such as at the close of the first chorus which mentions the burning of a hundred heretics by the Grand Inquisitor "ad majorem gloriam Dei". The solo baritone does not participate until the second section of Part II.

The Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Radio Choir and conductor Herbert Kegel all do a very fine job in this recording. Siegmund Nimsgern likewise is a solid and forthright soloist, if a bit stentorian at times. The only major debit of the presentation on the album is that no English translation of the German text is given. Thus you would have to be familiar with German to follow the text without outside assistance, or you'll have to feed the text into Google Translator. Even for those who have read the original novel or can look up in a copy of the New Testament the passages from Matthew 4, not having a translation of the composition's text is a potential hindrance here.

That aside, this is definitely a composition and recording worth investigating on its own terms. As a side concluding comment, in the larger scheme of the classical music repertoire, only one work from that period in German history, 1933-1945, is in the standard repertoire, namely Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana'. Blacher's 'Der Grossinquisitor' has a fair claim to deserve hearing on its own merits, in addition to being a major composition from that same historic time period, if only an enterprising conductor would take on the challenge of championing this work.
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