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Wolf: Mörike Lieder [Double CD]

Joan Rodgers , Stephan Genz , Roger Vignoles , Hugo Wolf , None Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £27.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Hugo Wolf
  • Audio CD (3 Nov 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00005QIT9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,332 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Der Genesene an Die Hoffnung
2. Der Knabe Und Das Immlein
3. Ein Stundlein Wohl Vor Tag
4. Jagerlied
5. Der Tambour
6. Er Ists
7. Das Verlassene Magdlein
8. Begegnung
9. Nimmersatte Liebe
10. Fussreise
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Zum Neuen Jahr
2. Gebet
3. An Den Schlaf
4. Neue Liebe
5. Wo Find Ich Trost?
6. An Die Geliebte
7. Pregrina 1
8. Pregrina 2
9. Frage and Antwort
10. Lebe Wohl
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Product Description

CD Description

This distinguished set brings together all of Hugo Wolf's so-called 'Mörike' Lieder, the first of the great songbooks on which the composer's reputation rests. Eduard Mörike was the author of poetic idylls and delightful fairytales, a bucolic, charmingly inadequate and ineffectual country clergyman at one with his surroundings, and a nature poet par excellence with an engaging sense of humour. His poems inspired Wolf to write some of his most popular, enduring, and endearing songs, though there are many in the collection which are not as well-known as they should be. Astoundingly, all 53 were written within a few months in 1888. Soprano Joan Rodgers was appointed a CBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2001 New Year's Honours list, and Stephan Genz was, of course, the recipient of a Gramophone Award for his Hyperion CD of Beethoven songs with Roger Vignoles. Together with Roger, our two singers bring these delectable songs to life as never before.

Review

'Abiding satisfaction in hearing the Mörike Liederbuch at one spellbinding session … a cornerstone for any Wolf collection. And pure radiant joy heaped high on silver platters' (Fanfare, USA) 'A major achievement on the part of its three artists … this becomes a straightforward top recommendation' --(Gramophone)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This valuable set is, to my knowledge, the first and only complete recording of Wolf's first great song collection--all settings of poems by Eduard Morike. For those taking their first plunge into the works of this great song composer, this collection is, for several reasons, an ideal introduction to his varied and quirky world of vivid word-setting:

First, about 20 of these songs are among the composer's most familiar, often heard in recital and often assigned to university students. Second, the range of subjects and musical expression is tremendously wide.

The sacred songs range from tender contemplations of the infant Jesus to breast-beating prayers of penitence and agonized self-examination. In the space of a review, one can only hint at the variety of the more numerous secular songs--love, both requited and "un" (An die Geliebte; Lebewohl), joy in bodily health (the hiker in "Fussreise"), elves and fairies (Elfenlied; Nixe Binsefuss), neurosis (Verborgenheit), the beauty of nature (the Maxfield Parish sunset of "Auf einer Wanderung"), sex(daringly explicit for the time), wacky humor ("Zur Warnung", in which the poet describes his fruitless attempts at writing coherent verse after waking up with a hangover! ) and MUCH more. "Der Tambour" is a comic masterpiece--a young soldier wishes his mother were a witch, and could magically supply him with beer and sausages. The references to a "serpent" in "Erstes Liebeslied eines Madchens" leave little to the listener's imagination--this is as close as 19th century lieder gets to literal descriptions of sex! "Abschied" ends the collection with the composer literally kicking his critics downstairs. Throughout the collection, Wolf reflects the poet's daring verses with music of equal audacity and variety.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's Afraid of Hugo Wolf?--An Ideal Introduction to His (Devout/Bawdy) Songs 2 Feb 2009
By Dace Gisclard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This valuable set is, to my knowledge, the first and only complete recording of Wolf's first great song collection--all settings of poems by Eduard Morike. For those taking their first plunge into the works of this great song composer, this collection is, for several reasons, an ideal introduction to his varied and quirky world of vivid word-setting:

First, about 20 of these songs are among the composer's most familiar, often heard in recital and often assigned to university students. Second, the range of subjects and musical expression is tremendously wide. If pressed to describe Wolf's style for those unfamiliar with him, I would say "mini-Wagner." Of course, I realize that's a GROSS oversimplification, so don't write in!

The sacred songs range from tender contemplations of the infant Jesus to breast-beating prayers of penitence and agonized self-examination. In the space of a review, one can only hint at the variety of the more numerous secular songs--love, both requited and "un" (An die Geliebte; Lebewohl), joy in bodily health (the hiker in "Fussreise"), elves and fairies (Elfenlied; Nixe Binsefuss), neurosis (Verborgenheit), the beauty of nature (the Maxfield Parish sunset of "Auf einer Wanderung"), sex(daringly explicit for the time), wacky humor ("Zur Warnung", in which the poet describes his fruitless attempts at writing coherent verse after waking up with a hangover! ) and MUCH more. "Der Tambour" is a comic masterpiece--a young soldier wishes his mother were a witch, and could magically supply him with beer and sausages. The references to a "serpent" in "Erstes Liebeslied eines Madchens" leave little to the listener's imagination--this is as close as 19th century lieder gets to literal descriptions of sex! "Abschied" ends the collection with the composer literally kicking his critics downstairs. Throughout the collection, Wolf reflects the poet's daring verses with music of equal audacity and variety.

The performers give little, if any, cause for complaint. Joan Rodgers and Stephan Genz are in top vocal and expressive form throughout, pointing up the meaning of the texts without affectation. Pianist Roger Vignoles mirrors their every nuance. In the strenuous piano postlude to "Er ists," some, like me, may feel that the pianist's unmarked slowing down 14 measures before the end passes over from "expressiveness" into the realm of the technically self-serving, but this was my only objection.

True, I won't be getting rid of my copy of Fisher-Dieskau's Morike selection with Gerald Moore on EMI--many of those performances are inimitable, and in 1958, Dieskau was in HIS freshest voice. Of course, even Dieskau couldn't reasonably record the songs that are obviously for a female protagonist, although, oddly, he DID record Gesang Weylas!

The use of TWO singers in the present set allows the songs to be logically divided along lines of gender. This usually works out well. At first, I found it odd hearing "Nimmersatte Liebe" (a bitter indictment of 19th-century sexual roles) coming from a woman's lips, but Rodgers turns it into a woman's protest--a fresh and valid take. However, the massive climax of "Verborgenheit" requires more vocal heft than she can summon. On the plus side, Nos.3, 7, 14, 16, 41, 42 and 45 are all best sung by a female voice and Dieskau didn't record any of them for either EMI or DGG.

This is not repertoire that offers fast and easy thrills--not just something to pop on the CD deck for background music. Getting the juice out of this music requires conscious listening. This is for poetry lovers who enjoy savoring a good book. Take your time, read the excellent and extensive notes by Roger Vignoles, follow the songs with the translations provided, pay just as much attention to the piano part as to the vocal line, and don't try to take the whole set in at once. Your patience will be rewarded as each of Morike's pictures spring to vivid life under the illumination of Wolf's music and the insights of these superb performers.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh voices, Wonderful piano 2 May 2002
By Sen Peng Eu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
These 2 discs contains all Moerike Lieder of Hugo Wolf, sung in the publish order. Two singers are at their best, especially Stephan Genz, a really good young voice.
The piano part is excellent. The booklet was designed in the classic Hyperion-lied style (thanks to Graham Johnson), beautiful, elegant and informative. All notes in the booklet were written by Vignoles himself, with somewhat stressing on the technic part. The object historical background or subject intrepretation note of each lied was often missing, compared to the notes of Johnson on Schubert.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable 26 Aug 2011
By J. Chiu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Genz, with his dry, dusty voice, is superior to Rodgers who sings with her typically off-pitch, quavery sound. Interpretatively, no halacious misjudgments but no profound insights either. The weakest of the Hyperion Wolf discs.

This is quite disappointing inasmuch as the Morike lieder are without any doubt the greatest lieder in the literature, equalled by not surpassed by certain Schubert, Schumann and Strauss works. But as a supreme collection of songs completed in some nine months, Wolf's works are without equal.
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