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Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

Wolf / Daneman / Grevelius / Kynoch
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Stone Records   Catalog #: 80086   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto KynochStephan LogesSophie DanemanJames Gilchrist,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Stone Records have within a few years established themselves as an interesting new voice in the crowded field of companies still believing in the future of recorded classical music. The repertoire has been so far music slightly off the beaten track with a bias towards vocal music. Songs of Delius, Butterworth and Ronald Corp are now joined by the first issue in what is planned to be a complete survey of Hugo Wolf’s songs, begun at the end of the composer’s centenary year.

Starting with the 53 Mörike songs is a good idea, since many of his best known songs belong to this group. They were, all 53 of them, composed between 16 February and 26 November 1888, a quite remarkable feat, comparable to Schumann’s feverish
Read more activities in 1840. They are presented here in the published order – which isn’t chronological: the first 26 on this disc and the remainder on volume two, which is already on its way with the same artists as here.

Shared between four singers in four different pitches we are guaranteed maximum variation, and for continuous listening this is good. All four singers are well established internationally, the youngest and probably least known being Swedish mezzo-soprano Anna Grevelius, who studied in London. The soprano, Sophie Daneman, has primarily been associated with the Baroque repertoire, working and recording regularly with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, but her discography also encompasses songs by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann and, a bit surprising perhaps, a Noel Coward songbook together with Ian Bostridge.

A few years ago Stephan Loges took part in a complete recording of Mozart’s songs. I was full of admiration for his singing and mentioned ‘his well modulated, warm and rounded tone and perfect legato’ and in particular his care for nuances was much to my liking. This sensitivity is notable also in the present recital, and with his powerful, dark-tinted bass-baritone he has the full measure of these songs. Fussreise (tr. 10) is very good, Verborgenheit (tr. 12) no less accomplished. But there are unfortunately less attractive features in his singing that were not there three years ago: he is slightly unsteady at times and occasionally strained. Im Frühling (tr. 13) suffers in this respect and Um Mitternacht (tr. 19) is also marred by this, which is a pity since this is one of Wolf’s finest songs.

James Gilchrist’s agreeable lyric tenor is perfectly suited to Der Tambour (tr. 5) and the two songs entitled Auf eine Christblume (tr. 20-21) are certainly sensitively sung. But Schlafendes Jesuskind (tr. 25) is not very successful – again a pity, since I believe many listeners are fond of this song. The concluding Karwoche (tr. 26) is beautifully performed as long as he sings softly but when under pressure the voice tends to spread and the tone hardens.

No such problems with Anna Grevelius. Her mezzo is well-equalized from top to bottom, it is powerful and agile – her debut as Rosina in The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera got rave reviews – and she is wonderfully sensitive. Nimmersatte Liebe (tr. 9) is a worthy calling-card, but even more so is An eine äolsharfe (tr. 11) and Elfenlied (tr. 16) with its evocative piano part is certainly one of the highlights in her lively reading.

As a Baroque singer one can expect Sophie Daneman to sport a basically light voice but it has darker undertones and seems cut out for the Wolf songs she has been allotted. Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag (tr. 3) is a gem in her reading and the delightful Er ist’s (tr. 6), jubilant and beautifully sung, evokes a genuine feeling of spring, even though I write this in early November when Jack Frost has already begun his rule up here in Scandinavia. The voice glitters as much as the piano! Der Gärtner (tr. 17), one of my earliest Wolf favourites, is sung with a special lilt but – isn’t it very slow? No matter, this is Lieder singing on a high level.

The pianist, Sholto Kynoch, was a new name to me but his playing is extremely accomplished and flexible. A chamber musician as well as accompanist he has excellent credentials for a Wolf cycle. This first issue has a lot to offer though it is a bit uneven. In general it is the female singers who give the most satisfying readings but some of the less favourable impressions of the singing of the men may be due to temporary indisposition. After all, the programme was recorded live on two consecutive days with obviously no chance to tidy things up afterwards. Readers who are allergic to live recordings should know however that there are no signs of an audience: no applause, no creaking floors, no coughing.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Mörike Lieder: no 1, Der Genesene an die Hoffnung by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Stephan Loges ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
2.
Mörike Lieder: no 2, Der Knabe und das Immlein by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Sophie Daneman ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3.
Mörike Lieder: no 3, Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Sophie Daneman ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Mörike Lieder: no 4, Jägerlied by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 2 Secs. 
5.
Mörike Lieder: no 5, Der Tambour by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
6.
Mörike Lieder: no 7, Das verlassene Mägdlein by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sophie Daneman (), Sholto Kynoch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
7.
Mörike Lieder: no 8, Begegnung by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Anna Grevelius ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
8.
Mörike Lieder: no 9, Nimmersatte Liebe by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Anna Grevelius ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
9.
Mörike Lieder: no 10, Fussreise by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Stephan Loges ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
10.
Mörike Lieder: no 11, An eine Äolsharfe by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Anna Grevelius ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 20 Secs. 
11.
Mörike Lieder: no 12, Verborgenheit by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Stephan Loges ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
12.
Mörike Lieder: no 13, Im Frühling by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Stephan Loges ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
13.
Mörike Lieder: no 14, Agnes by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Anna Grevelius ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
14.
Mörike Lieder: no 15, Auf einer Wanderung by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
15.
Mörike Lieder: no 16, Elfenlied by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Anna Grevelius ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
16.
Mörike Lieder: no 17, Der Gärtner by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Sophie Daneman ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
17.
Mörike Lieder: no 18, Zitronenfalter im April by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Sophie Daneman ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
18.
Mörike Lieder: no 19, Um Mitternacht by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Stephan Loges ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
19.
Mörike Lieder: no 20, Auf eine Christblume I "Tochter des Walds" by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
20.
Mörike Lieder: no 21, Auf eine Christblume II "Im Winterboden schläft" by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
21.
Mörike Lieder: no 22, Seufzer by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Anna Grevelius ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
22.
Mörike Lieder: no 23, Auf ein altes Bild by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Sophie Daneman ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
23.
Mörike Lieder: no 24, In der Frühe by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Stephan Loges ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
24.
Mörike Lieder: no 25, Schlafendes Jesuskind by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
25.
Mörike Lieder: no 26, Karwoche by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), James Gilchrist ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
26.
Mörike Lieder: no 6, Er ist's by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Sophie Daneman ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Morike Lieder: No. 1. Der Genesene an die Hoffnung
Morike Lieder: No. 2. Der Knabe und das Immlein
Morike Lieder: No. 3. Ein Stundlein wohl vor Tag
Morike Lieder: No. 4. Jagerlied
Morike Lieder: No. 5. Der Tambour
Morike Lieder: No. 6. Er ist's
Morike Lieder: No. 7. Das verlassene Magdlein
Morike Lieder: No. 8. Begegnung
Morike Lieder: No. 9. Nimmersatte Liebe
Morike Lieder: No. 10. Fussreise
Morike Lieder: No. 11. An eine Aolsharfe
Morike Lieder: No. 12. Verborgenheit
Morike Lieder: No. 13. Im Fruhling
Morike Lieder: No. 14. Agnes
Morike Lieder: No. 15. Auf einer Wanderung
Morike Lieder: No. 16. Elfenlied
Morike Lieder: No. 17. Der Gartner
Morike Lieder: No. 18. Zitronenfalter im April
Morike Lieder: No. 19. Um Mitternacht
Morike Lieder: No. 20. Auf eine Christblume I, "Tochter des Walds"
Morike Lieder: No. 21. Auf eine Christblume II, "Im Winterboden schlaft"
Morike Lieder: No. 22. Seufzer
Morike Lieder: No. 23. Auf ein altes Bild
Morike Lieder: No. 24. In der Fruhe
Morike Lieder: No. 25. Schlafendes Jesuskind
Morike Lieder: No. 26. Karwoche

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