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Volkslieder, Vol. 2

Kaufmann / Schultze / Mauch / Ruf / Busch / Wader
Release Date: 05/31/2011 
Label:  Carus   Catalog #: 83004   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Traditional
Performer:  Jonas KaufmannJan Philip SchulzeMonika MauchBarbara Pfeifer,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This rather charming disc is part of a project to record and disseminate German folksongs, Volkslieder (see review of Volume 1). It involves not only a sequence of CD recordings but also music books and accompaniment discs. The idea is to get people singing, presumably mainly German-speaking people. The project promotes singing with children and for each CD sold a donation is made to German musical projects. All the artists have participated without a fee.
 
Read more For an English-speaking critic the interest of the disc and associated project is less in the promotion of singing and more the access to German Volkslieder. Unlike English folk-songs, which were mainly collected in the late 19th/early 20th century, the songs on this disc appeared in print in the late 18th/early 19th century.
 
The booklet, with its colourful drawings, is attractive and includes full texts and English translations. The individual songs also include the origin information but only in German and without any elucidation as to their regional significance. I would have liked to have learned more about where the songs came from. It wasn’t really enough to read that ‘In Märzen der Bauer’ (In March the Farmer) comes from a collection called “Volkslied aus Mähren”, published in 1884. I’d like to know a lot more.
 
The songs are performed in quite a wide variety of styles. The disc opens with Jonas Kaufmann on top form in ‘Die Gedanken sind frei’ from a collection published in Leipzig in 1842, “Schlesiche Volkslieder”. This is Kaufmann’s only contribution. Most singers perform just one or two items, thus giving a wide variety of vocal styles. This complements quite neatly the range of arrangements in which the songs are presented, though most are straightforward. Other major names include Kurt Moll who sings a lively rendition of ’O, du lieber Augustin’ and Juliane Banse. Accompaniment is mainly piano, but we also have guitar, viola da gamba and even a gamba consort.
 
In addition to this there are a number of choral versions, from groups as varied as Die Singphoniker, the children’s chorus of Stuttgart Staatsoper, the Dresden chamber choir, Singer Pur and the vocal ensemble Rastatt.
 
Finally there are several instrumental items, presented for saxophone and piano, accordion and bassoon, violin and piano.
 
‘Dat du min Leevst bust’ is notable in this company being sung by a folk duo in a markedly different style to the rest of the disc.
 
The performances are never less than creditable, generally simple and direct which is what the songs need. These are straightforward accounts of songs which have made the initial transition from folk-song to printed art song. No-one tries too hard or tries to make more of the songs than is needed.
 
You can treat this disc a number of ways. You might care to invest in the other media associated with the project and get singing or you may find it interesting and illuminating as a backdrop to the development of the German lied and its relation to the Volkslied. On the other hand you could just sit back and listen.
 
-- Robert Hugill, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Die Gedanken sind frei by Traditional
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor), Jan Philip Schulze (Piano)
2.
Es Geht Ein Dunkle Wolk Herein by Traditional
Performer:  Monika Mauch (Soprano), Barbara Pfeifer (), Hugh Sandilands ()
3.
Der Mai ist gekommen by Traditional
Performer:  Michael Gees (Piano), Julia Kleiter (Soprano)
Written: Germany 
4.
Heut Kommt Der Hans Zu Mir by Traditional
Performer:  Johannes Knecht (Piano)
5.
Dat Du Min Leevste Büst by Traditional
Performer:  Hannes Wader (), Konstantin Wecker ()
6.
In Einen Harung by Traditional
Performer:  Libor Slima (), Anne-marie Hölscher ()
7.
Vöglein Im Hohen Baum by Traditional
Performer:  Markus Schäfer (Tenor), Matthias Veit ()
8.
An Der Saale Hellem Strande by Traditional
Performer:  Phillip Niederberger (Voice), Juliane Ruf (Piano)

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