WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Hamlet Echoes / Doufexis, Sachse, Heide

Doufexis / Sachse / Heide / Loeffler / Liszt
Release Date: 11/08/2011 
Label:  Cavi Music   Catalog #: 8553234   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Martin LoefflerFranz LisztJohannes BrahmsChristian Jost,   ... 
Performer:  Stella DoufexisPauline SachseDaniel Heide
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $17.98
CD:  $15.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews



HAMLET ECHOES Stella Doufexis (mez); Pauline Sachse (va); Daniel Heide (pn) AVI-MUSIC 8553234 (72:50 Text and Translation)


LOEFFLER La Chanson des Ingénues. Harmonie du soir. 4 Poems. LISZT Romance oubliée. Les Pleurs des femmes. BRAHMS 2 Gesänge, op. 91. Read more class="COMPOSER12"> SHOSTAKOVICH Lied der Ophelia. JOST Hamlet Echoes. BRIDGE Far, Far from Each Other. Where Is It That Our Soul Doth Go? Music When Soft Voices Die.


In music conservatories there is an old tradition that voice majors attend string classes to learn about phrasing, and string players go to voice classes to learn about—phrasing. It seems that the wonderful mezzo-soprano Stella Doufexis and the wonderful violist Pauline Sachse have learned a lot from each other, about phrasing and much more. It is almost uncanny how each takes on the virtues of her partner’s instrument. If a superb stringed instrument could utter words it would sound like Doufexis. If a singer’s voice could be bowed, it would move with the grace and breadth of Sachse. They are dedicated, well-disciplined, honest, consummately musical artists, as is their collaborative pianist, Daniel Heide. Their repertoire is ingeniously assembled, but, as is usually the case, the best-known composers—Brahms, Liszt, and Shostakovich—prove to be the most compelling. The Brahms Zwei Gesänge are nothing short of ideal. As the composer’s writing is sumptuous, the artists do not guild the lily, but shape phrases gracefully using slender, luminous lines to create seamless ensemble and luminous sonority. Shostakovich’s Song of Ophelia, originally for soprano and cello, fares very well in this subtle transposition of a higher-ranged instrument and a lower-ranged voice. Again, Doufexis’s ability to blend with, and move like, a stringed instrument is absolutely astonishing. It might be that Shostakovich intended a starker reading of Blok’s text, and the Russian language could lie a little more comfortably on the singer’s tongue, but the performance is deeply moving.


Frank Bridge’s three compositions seem a little dry in themselves, but they are given perhaps more than their due by means of Heide’s sweet tone and Doufexis’s close to perfect English diction. The liner notes say that Where Is It That Our Soul Doth Go? is a translation of Heine’s Wenn ich in deine Auge seh’ but I can’t see any connection at all. Perhaps one of our “serious collectors” will enlighten me. Loeffler’s settings of the same Verlaine and Baudelaire poems that have been set many times by many composers of higher stature are charming, pristinely crafted, melodic productions. The German-born American is similar in ways to the Venezuelan-born Parisian Reynaldo Hahn and the Italian-born Londoner (and teacher of Queen Victoria) Paolo Tosti. All three had a gift for melody, set verses of celebrated French poets, traveled in high social circles, and came to enjoy a comfortable position in the second rank of turn-of-the-century composers. Christian Jost, composer of the disc’s title piece, uses a fairly standard array of fashionable new-music effects: glissandos, plucked piano strings, awkward intervals, Sprechstimme , etc. I would guess that the score is very exacting, very difficult, but like so much new music the score might demand a staggering amount of precision but the effect upon the listener is not precise at all, but either vague or incomprehensible.


Although all the works on this disc might not be to one’s taste, it is impossible not to be enchanted by the brilliance of the performances.


FANFARE: Raymond Beegle
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Poems (4), Op. 5 by Charles Martin Loeffler
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1893; USA 
2.
La chanson des ingénues by Charles Martin Loeffler
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1893; USA 
3.
Harmonie du soir by Charles Martin Loeffler
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1893; USA 
4.
Romance oubliée for Piano, S 527 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Rome, Italy 
5.
Songs (2) for Alto, Viola and Piano, Op. 91 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1864-84; Austria 
6.
Hamlet Echoes by Christian Jost
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
7.
Songs (3) for Voice, Viola and Piano, H 76 by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; England 
8.
Les pleurs des femmes, S 301a by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
9.
Hamlet, Op. 32: Ophelia's Song by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Stella Doufexis (Mezzo Soprano), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Daniel Heide (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1932; USSR 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In