Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
"'Das Buch' is a strange and intense work, a sprawling, dense and complex oratorio based on the less-than-cheery biblical Book of Revelation, which Kristjan Jarvi calls 'an official guide to the worst-case scenario.' It features organ solos, huge choruses, contrapuntal passages reminiscent of the Bach Passions, and orchestral writing that is delicate and monumental. There are operatic vocal quartets, a heldentenor St. John the Divine and a Wotan-like Voice of God.... Schmidt was born in 1874 in Pressburg (now Bratislava, Slovakia). He and contemporaries like Alexander Zemlinsky (a refugee from the Nazis and thus on the
other side of the political fence) are part of a second tier of big-scale symphonists overshadowed by Bruckner and Mahler. But their music is worth mining, and Mr. Jarvi said he hoped his recording would lead to 'a small, or maybe not so small,' resurgence of interest in Schmidt’s music. 'I see him really as this great Mahlerian-type composer who really has a lot to offer to the world,' Mr. Jarvi, 35, said." -- The New York Times
"**** Das Buch has passages of striking modernity, most notably the skeletally scored section after the breaking of the Fourth Seal, when tenor and bass soloists represent survivors of a battle. Jarvi conducts a well-played and sung account of the complex score, with fine contributions from Johannes Chum (St John), Robert Holl (Voice of a God, above), and a well-balanced quartet." -- The Sunday Times (UK)
Works on This Recording
Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln by Franz Schmidt
Johannes Chum (Tenor),
Michelle Breedt (Mezzo Soprano),
Robert Kovacs (Organ),
Robert Hall (Bass Baritone),
Manfred Hemm (Bass),
Bijan Khadem-Missagh (Violin),
Nikolai Andrej Schukoff (Tenor),
Nikolai Schukoff (Tenor),
Sandra Trattnigg (Soprano)
Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra,
Written: 1935-1937; Austria
Length: 112 Minutes 59 Secs.
Featured Sound Samples
St. John: "Gnade sei mit euch und Friede"
The Four Beasts: "Heilig, heilig ist Gott der Allmächtige"
Chorus: "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"
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