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Schumann, Schubert: Grenzen Der Menschheit / Johannes Martin Kranzle, Hilko Dumno


Release Date: 09/10/2013 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72600   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchubertRobert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin KränzleHilko DumnoTheresa Kronthaler
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHUMANN Ballade des Harfners. Wer nie sein Brot. Wer sich der Einsamkeit er gibt. An die Türen will ich schleichen. Der Handschuh. Nachtlied. SCHUBERT Der Fischer. Der König in Thule. Die Bürgschaft. Gruppe aus dem Tartarus. Hektors Abschied. 1 Prometheus. Grenzen der Menschheit. An Schwager Kronos Johannes Martin Kränzle (bar); 1 Theresa Kronthaler (mez); Hilko Dumno (pn) Read more CHALLENGE 72600 (67:35 Text and Translation)

This is an interestingly programmed recital, expressively performed and presented with an informative and provocative booklet. The title, Grenzen der Menschheit, translates as “The Limits of Mankind” and the disc features songs set to highly dramatic texts by Goethe and Schiller. In an interview with the baritone included in the booklet, Kränzle indicates that the spark for the disc was Schubert’s remarkable Die Bürgschaft (The Hostage), a 17-minute song setting a poem of Schiller. This is more like a monodrama than a song, telling the story (set in ancient Syracuse) of a man sentenced to death by Dionysius but given three days to attend his sister’s wedding, if his friend will remain as a hostage in his place. If the man does not return, his friend will be killed in his stead. Despite many obstacles placed in his way, he does come back, and Dionysius is so moved by this act of bravery that he frees both. Grief, hope, anguish, and ultimately love and peace are all inherent in this song, and Kränzle brings them all to the fore appropriately. This song represents well the range of emotions and levels of intensity of the entire recital. There are some songs that are more intimate and gentle (Kränzle refers to them as “islands of repose”) sprinkled through the disc, to help avoid monotony and fatigue from too much angst.

Kränzle’s voice is darker than, say, Fischer-Dieskau’s, Prey’s, and those of many other baritones heard in this repertoire. It is no surprise to learn that he has sung roles like Alberich in Das Rheingold and Bolkonski in Prokofiev’s War and Peace , as well as lighter roles like Papageno. Although he produces a gentle, smooth legato when the music calls for it, the disc is perhaps more notable for dramatic expressiveness; his dark sound is very well suited to this material. He pays considerable attention to the texts, with crisp diction and imaginative inflections. It isn’t particularly “pretty” singing, but for most of this material it shouldn’t be.

Hilko Dumno is Kränzle’s regular pianist, and they have a strong partnership. Dumno’s playing is colorful and matches the singer in dramatic impact. Theresa Kronthaler is the mezzo-soprano who partner’s Kränzle as Andromache in Hektors Abschied , and her throaty, thin tone does not add to our pleasure. The recorded sound is mostly well-balanced, if slightly favoring the singer, and the piano tone seems a bit thin, but this is minor.

I can recommend this with enthusiasm. It is not for background listening, but is a compelling recital if you let yourself be completely engaged. These are not lyrical ballads sung smoothly, but highly dramatic songs by two geniuses of the Lieder art form, imaginatively, even grippingly, performed.

FANFARE: Henry Fogel Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Prometheus, D 674 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Hektors Abschied, D 312/Op. 58 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano), Theresa Kronthaler (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, D 396 [fragment] by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Grenzen der Menschheit, D 716 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Die Bürgschaft, D 246 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Der König in Thule, D 367/Op. 5 no 5 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Der Fischer, D 225/Op. 5 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
8.
An Schwager Kronos, D 369/Op. 19 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Lieder und Gesänge iv, Op. 96: no 1, Nachtlied by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Germany 
10.
Lieder aus Wilhelm Meister, Op. 98a: no 8, An die Türen will ich schleichen by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
11.
Lieder aus Wilhelm Meister, Op. 98a: no 6, Wer sich der Einsamkeit by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
12.
Lieder aus Wilhelm Meister, Op. 98a: no 4, Wer nie sein Brot by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
13.
Lieder aus Wilhelm Meister, Op. 98a: no 2, Ballade des Harfners by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
14.
Der Handschuh, Op. 87 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle (Baritone), Hilko Dumno (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 

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