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Franz Schreker: Songs / Haselböck, Holzmair, Ryan


Release Date: 05/06/2008 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9259   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang HolzmairHermine HaselböckRussell Ryan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHREKER Songs (30) Hermine Haselböck (ms); Wolfgang Holzmair (bar); Russell Ryan (pn) BRIDGE 9259 (71:04 Text and Translation)

Franz Schreker wrote most of his songs in the 1898–1900 period; they are resolutely tonal, yet they also use numerous inverted chords in the piano part and constantly shifting harmonies that relate them to the Lieder of Mahler and Wolf.

As in her album of Mahler songs, Haselböck uses Russell Ryan as her accompanist, but by and large his playing here is more Read more sustained in musical line and somewhat more involved in the unfolding drama of each song. Haselböck splits this album with another singer, Wolfgang Holzmair, whose light yet attractive baritone voice reminds me of the late Josef Metternich. (Oddly, we have here a contralto who studied with a coloratura soprano, Rita Streich, and a baritone who studied with a contralto, Hilde Rössl-Majdan!) Although Holzmair’s voice is not, on the surface, as imposing or as richly colored as Haselböck’s, he does a lot with the gifts he has. I should also mention that the acoustics on this disc are a bit odd and somewhat dry, the material having been recorded at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. It doesn’t seem to be a particularly good venue for a Lieder recital; both voices and piano sound a bit boomy but also slightly covered.

But musical value always trumps sonics, and this CD is precious. The first six songs, sung by Haselböck, come from a collection titled Mutterlieder. Set to the poetry of Mia Holm, the texts focus on the death of a child, much like Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. These songs are remarkable in their musical variety; but then again, so are all the songs on this album. One particularly interesting modulation occurs in the third song, “Heute Nacht, als ich so bange,” where the piano shifts the tonality using a falling pentatonic scale. Both singers’ connections to the words and meanings of this material continually draw you in; after a while, you scarcely notice the odd acoustic, but are consistently focusing on what they’re singing and how they sing it.

The interest in the next three songs, performed by Holzmair, are that they were only published in 2005. These are some of Schreker’s earliest songs, written when he was not yet 18, yet despite the composer’s youth and inexperience they’re surprisingly good. The first is a typically idyllic ditty about spending a quiet night in a garden under a linden tree, but the second song, The Starving Child (text from Des Knaben Wunderhorn and also set by Mahler), is wonderfully dramatic in its use of rhythm and surprising twists of tonality. In one of Holzmair’s songs, Spuk (“Specter” or “Spook”), the light, sparse, almost elfin accompaniment continually breaks up the rhythm with pauses, including fairly longish ones before the singer enters. It is just these kinds of little touches throughout these songs which mark them as the work of a superior musical mind, even though they break no real ground—at least, not until you come to the very last group. Sung by Holzmair, these songs are mature Schreker, written between 1909 and 1915. Here the musical language is more abstract, more dramatically concise, the relationship between words and music exploring inner states of mind rather than “songs” in the conventional sense. Schreker’s style here is closer to early Schoenberg or Berg; he has left Mahler and Wolf behind.

One could go on describing each song and these two excellent artists’ approach to them, but time does not permit such indulgence. Suffice it to say that this is an exemplary disc of outstanding Lieder singing, and that these three artists—and here I include Ryan’s pianism—are fully involved and artistically on top of their game.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lieder (5) aus den 'Mutterliedern' by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Im Garten unter der Linde by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
3.
Das hungernde Kind by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1895; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Liebeslieder (2): no 2, Überwunden by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897; Austria 
5.
Die Rosen und der Flieder by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Gesänge (2), Op. 2: no 1, Sommerfäden by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Austria 
7.
Gedichte (5) von Paul Heyse, Op. 3: no 5, Umsonst by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Austria 
8.
Gedichte (5) von Paul Heyse, Op. 3: no 1, In alten Tagen by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Austria 
9.
Lieder (3): no 1, Ein Rosenblatt by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; Austria 
10.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 7, Rosengruss by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898-1900; Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
11.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 5, Rosentod by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898-1900; Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
12.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 6, Ach, noch so jung by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898-1900; Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
13.
Lieder (5), Op. 4: no 1, Unendliche Liebe by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Austria 
14.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 4, Spuk by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
15.
Lieder (5), Op. 4: no 4, Die Liebe als Rezensentin by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Austria 
16.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 1, Wiegenliedchen by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898-1900; Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
17.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 2, Zu Späte Reue by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898-1900; Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
18.
Lieder (8), Op. 7: no 3, Traum by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898-1900; Austria 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1898 - 1900). 
19.
Gesänge (5): no 4, Sie sind so schön, die milden sonnenreichen by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909/1922; Austria 
20.
Und wie mag die Liebe by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Austria 
21.
Entführung by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Austria 
22.
Das feurige Männlein by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Austria 
23.
Die Dunkelheit sinkt schwer wie Blei by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909 
24.
Einst gibt ein Tag mir alles Glück zu eigen by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909 
25.
Gesänge (2), Op. 2: no 2, Stimmen des Tages by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano),
Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1899; Austria 
26.
Lieder (2) auf den Tod eines Kindes Op. 5 by Franz Schreker
Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone), Hermine Haselböck (Mezzo Soprano), Russell Ryan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 

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