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Schoenberg: Gurrelieder Original recording remastered


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Product details

  • Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
  • Audio CD (6 Nov 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Emi Classics
  • ASIN: B00004Z34N
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,048 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Orchestral PreludeAlexander Young 7:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Nun dämfpt die Dämm'rungMartina Arroyo 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. O, wenn des Mondes StrahlenMartina Arroyo 3:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Ross! Mein Ross!Alexander Young 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sterne jubelnJanos Ferencsik 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. So tanzen die Engel vor Gottes Thron nichtDanish State Radio Symphony Orchestra 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Nun sag ich dir zum ersten malDanish Radio Chamber Orchestra & Chorus 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Es ist MitternachtszeitMartina Arroyo 7:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Du sendest mir einen LiebesblickDanish Radio Chamber Orchestra & Chorus 5:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Du wunderliche Tove!Alexander Young 3:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Orchestral interludeDanish State Radio Symphony Orchestra 5:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Tauben von GurreMartina Arroyo11:53Album Only
Listen13. Herrgott, weisst du, was du tatestAlexander Young 4:37£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Erwacht, König Waldemars Mannen wert!Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra & Chorus 3:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Deckel des Sarges klappertAlexander Young 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Gegrüsst, o KönigDanish Radio Chamber Orchestra & Chorus 5:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mit Toves stimme flüstert der WaldDanish Radio Chamber Orchestra & Chorus 3:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. 'Ein seltsamer Vogel ist so'n Aal'Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra 7:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Du strenger Richter drobenAlexander Young 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Der Hahn erhebt den Kopf zur KrahtAlexander Young 5:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Orchestral PreludeDanish Radio Chamber Orchestra & Chorus 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Herr Gänsefuss, Frau GänsekrautMartina Arroyo 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Seht die SonneDanish State Radio Symphony Orchestra 4:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. I OuvertureRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra 5:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. II AdagioRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra 4:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. III Menuet & TrioNorman Del Mar 5:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. IV GavotteRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra 6:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. V. GigueRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra 6:39£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 April 2008
Format: Audio CD
I hadn't realised just how many recordings of this monumental work there were out there until I started a little research and I can claim to be familiar with only four -although I have listened to some excerpts of others. The other odd thing my investigations revealed was just how many totally contradictory opinions you can glean from a trawl through the Amazon reviews, both US and UK.

OK; in the end you can only tell it as you see - or rather hear - it yourself. My departure point and single biggest discriminator is the quality of the soloists. I realise that you need a wonderful conductor, orchestra and choir to do those massive sonorities justice and the final, blazing paean to Nature and the sun from combined forces has to be right, but the emotional core of this overlong, rambling, unbalanced, but ultimately fascinating, work lies with the outpourings of feeling from the hero, heroine, two bemused onlookers and, finally, the recitalist of the poem. I agree that several conductors seem to lose detail in a soup of sound - or maybe that is as much a location and recording problem - but I can forgive some of that when the voices are right. (Gielen's relatively new recording sounds to my ears to be serious undercast, although Diener repeats her touching, slightly low-key assumption of Tove.)

First, I will not budge on one fact (i.e opinion!): nobody, but nobody, not even Troyanos, begins to approach the depth, strength and variety of colour that Janet Baker brings to her Wood Dove narration. Her voice, in the rather elderly and hissy live, Danish recording conducted by Ferencsik, is awesomely powerful and resonant yet also delicate and moving. She conveys every nuance of emotion in a tour de force of a performance.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip Spires on 12 Dec 2007
Format: Audio CD
The music is good, the playing is good, the singing is good. There are one or two bits of questionable playing. It's good value as well. But this recording never quite hits the heights of this vast work. If you don't know Gurrelieder and don't want to spend money on a full price version, this is a good place to start, but interpretation of this work has moved on somewhat since this recording was issued.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The finest in the catalogue 18 Feb 2006
By Scoglio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ferencsik's approach is convincingly late romantic (rather than proto-modernist) and hence the overall effect is more emotional, lyrical and passionate than (say) Boulez (more clinical). As a live recording, the excitement is compelling and the soloists superb: Arroyo's incredibly richly textured voice, used with a real sense of line and control, and perfectly gauged in the great ascents to the staggering vocal climaxes, Dame Janet's unequalled inwardness and drama as the Waldtaube, in lush, focussed voice capped by a superb high B-flat, and Young's wonderful phrasing and lyrical atmosphere. Three singers who absolutely UNDERSTAND what they are singing, and express that knowledge with eloquence and conviction. The nearest competitor to this in the catalogue is the Ozawa/Philips, but that's such an artifical creation of spliced live takes, that it really doesn't catch fire like this (nor does the multimike recording at all sound like we heard at the performances in Symphony Hall).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Value for money 20 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Gurrelieder Cantata is probably one of the most popular works of a composer otherwise regarded as rather `esoteric'. Scored for unusually huge orchestra, chorus and soloists, its performance probably presents a challenge to any conductor - the programme notes accompanying this CD mention that Schoenberg had to order special music paper which could accommodate forty staves (The programme notes are rather entertaining to read, it is just a pity that the text is not included). This highly inspired work is written in a style strongly influenced by late romanticism - full of passion, yearning, love, grief and uncanny scenes surpassing those encountered in the music by Berlioz, Liszt and Weber's Freischuetz.
Compared to other performances of the Schoenberg Gurrelieder, this one appears more restrained and slightly on the slow side, but the tension is nevertheless well maintained. The choice of singers is excellent, the participation of Dame Janet Baker being a special treat. All the singers display a wonderful sense for musical line despite the frequent angular melodies and difficult intervals - they are complemented by neat and transparent orchestral playing, which in a composition like the Gurrelieder is definitely not easy to achieve.
This is a live recording, and there are wrong notes and insecure moments, but these do not impede the overall performance, which in general is convincing and moving.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A curious entry in the catalogue that turns out to be great 30 Sep 2007
By Classic Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This live concert recording from the mid-1960s seems very curious at first blush. Here we have a Hungarian conductor directing a Danish orchestra and chorus, along with a popular British soprano (Janet Baker) and a leading Metropolitan Opera artist (Martina Arroyo). It seemed to me a "perfect storm" of elements producing a performance that might not hang together too well.

As it turned out, while things might get a little off kilter here and there, on balance this is the most viscerally exciting rendition of the Gurre-Lieder I've heard. That may be because it's a live concert performance ... but that doesn't seem to redeem the more measured Kubelik performance on DGG that's also a live concert recording.

All the soloists do a fine job, and mention should also be made of Julius Patzak in the speaking role -- surely his last recorded performance after many years at the Vienna State Opera and in numerous recordings. It's true that Patzak has some difficulty being heard above the massive orchestra, but it's not the first time that's happened in this piece. (In fact, I remember attending a Baltimore Symphony performance with Sergiu Commissiona in about 1980 where NONE OF ANY of the soloists -- not just the speaker -- could be heard above the orchestra. How frustrating was that!)

There are certainly a number of very good recordings of Gurre-Lieder available today. But at EMI's special price, this one is definitely well worth investigating. When the piece is performed this well, it's easy to realize that Schoenberg had everything Mahler had as a composer ... and was soon ready to branch out to completely new musical horizons, figuring he just didn't have anything more to say in the "late-late-romantic" idiom. Sometimes I wish Mahler had come to that same conclusion after, say, his Fifth symphony ...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very accomplished and enjoyable live performance from the Sixties 17 Mar 2007
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Gurre-Lieder has never been less than an event, thanks to the enormous forces that Schoenberg calls for, the equal of Strauss's Ein Heldenleben or Alpine Scymphony, with the addition of three vocal soloists, male chorus, and narrator. It must have been a very special event in 1968 when vocal stars Martina Arroyo, Janet Baker, and Alexander YOung traveled to Copenhagen to join with the Danish State Radio Orch. One feels that extra vibrancy that comes from an exciting concert (there's also a bit of audience noise, but not enough to be annoying). The recorded sound is fully up to studio standards.

Every reviewer has raved about Dame Janet's contribution as the Wood Dove, which is fully deserved, but the far larger parts belong to Arroyo and YOung. In truth Young's mid-weight tenor isn't heroic enough for the part, but he's wise not to push it; his Waldemar is restrained, musical, and dramatically involved. Arroyo's Tove, sung in by-the-numbers German, is more plush than dramatic, but she's never less than enjoyable. Ferencsic conducts a vigorous, straightforward reading that cannot compete with Ozawa for finesse or Levine (from Munich) for power, and his Danish forces are not up to the refined virtuosity of the Boston Sym. But his soloists soar above those on Rattle's disappointing Berlin Phil. recording on EMI. I don't know the acclaimed Decca recording under Chailly, but it's bound to be virtuosic and now comes in a bargain two-fer.

I'd rate this as a very good Gurre-Lieder that bows to no rival for musical enjoyment, albeit on a smaller, less heroic scale than the best recordings. Prospective buyers may want to check out Philips' latest remastering of the Ozawa performance, one of my favorites.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Still sounds good to me 1 April 2008
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I hadn't realised just how many recordings of this monumental work there were out there until I started a little research and I can claim to be familiar with only four -although I have listened to some excerpts of others. The other odd thing my investigations revealed was just how many totally contradictory opinions you can glean from a trawl through the Amazon reviews, both US and UK.

OK; in the end you can only tell it as you see - or rather hear - it yourself. My departure point and single biggest discriminator is the quality of the soloists. I realise that you need a wonderful conductor, orchestra and choir to do those massive sonorities justice and the final, blazing paean to Nature and the sun from combined forces has to be right, but the emotional core of this overlong, rambling, unbalanced, but ultimately fascinating, work lies with the outpourings of feeling from the hero, heroine, two bemused onlookers and, finally, the recitalist of the poem. I agree that several conductors seem to lose detail in a soup of sound - or maybe that is as much a location and recording problem - but I can forgive some of that when the voices are right. (Gielen's relatively new recording sounds to my ears to be serious undercast, although Diener repeats her touching, slightly low-key assumption of Tove.)

First, I will not budge on one fact (i.e opinion!): nobody, but nobody, not even Troyanos, begins to approach the depth, strength and variety of colour that Janet Baker brings to her Wood Dove narration. Her voice, in the rather elderly and hissy live, Danish recording conducted by Ferencsik, is awesomely powerful and resonant yet also delicate and moving. She conveys every nuance of emotion in a tour de force of a performance. Troyanos is good but just compare key moments such as "Tod ist Tove". Everyone else, barring Troyanos (and perhaps Fassbaender on the Chailly set) is an also-ran in this part - and some are quite disappointing - particularly Jennifer Lane in the Craft performance.

Regarding Waldemar, there are, to my ears, a lot of rather windy, over-parted tenors who have a go at this role; strangely enough, Alexander Young, Baker's and Arroyo's partner, makes a success of it simply by treating the role quite lyrically and focussing his lighter voice tellingly instead of trying to blast. O'Mara, on the Craft, is very good; having heard him live I suspect that the recording is kind to him, as his voice in the flesh is not that large, however pleasing and musical. No; for me McCracken in the Ozawa set is close to ideal in timbre and attack - if only he had attempted to sing more quietly in the more intimate passages. However, his is still a thrilling assumption of the role and the right, huge voice for this frenetic, despaired and desperate character - and it is possible that the close recording is partly to blame for his prominence in quieter passages.

I need a soprano of real heft and amplitude of tone as Tove - but someone who can fine down her large voice from the more ecstatic moments to accommodate the declarations of love. Arroyo (Ferencsik -again) and, of course, Jessye Norman for Ozawa, have huge, beautiful voices and their competitors,such as Melanie Diener, while being perfectly adequate, rather pale in comparison.

The strength of the Craft set lies in the coherence and splendour of the choral singing and his control of tension - but the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, too, won a Gramophone Award for their contribution to Ozawa's recording. The soloists in Ozawa'a performance are, as I mention above, recorded rather too closely but the ambience of the Boston Symphony Hall is kind. The Ferencsik does not have as stellar an orchestra or choir as Ozawa but they still generate excitement and depth of sound. The best overall sound is to be found on the Craft (formerly Koch, now Naxos).

So, ultimately, I find myself returning either to Ferencsik or Ozawa for the sterling solo performances and it is the latter that I would cling to at a push - while always regretting that it was not Baker who sang for Ozawa. I don't think that Chailly provides the same thrills; his soloists (Fassbaender apart) strike me as competent but bland - though I do enjoy Hotter's declamation even if he had an inauthentic voice type for the spoken role, if we are to heed the composer's wishes for a lighter ex-tenor sound.

P.S. Having since discovered the superb Munich recording on Oehms (see my review), wonderfully played and conducted by Levine and impressively sung by Heppner and Voigt, I unhesitatingly recommend that one even above the other versions I recommend above. The buyer is spoilt for choice.
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