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Strauss: Leider / Oelze, Schneider


Release Date: 04/30/2013 
Label:  Solo Musica   Catalog #: 183   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Eric SchneiderChristiane Oelze
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



R. STRAUSS Xenion, AV 131. Nichts!, Op. 10/2. Die Nacht, Op. 10/3. Allerseelen, Op. 10/8. Ständchen, Op. 17/2. Cäcilie, Op. 27/2. Heimliche Aufforderung, Op. 27/2. Morgen, Op. 27/4. Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Traum durch die Dämmerung, Op. 29/1. Schlagende Herzen, Op. 29/2. Blauer Sommer, Op. 31/1. Das Rosenband, Op. 36/1. Hat gesagt—bleibt’s nicht dabei, Op. 36/3. Befreit, Op. 39/4. Muttertändelei, Op. 43/2. Freundliche Vision, Op. 48/1. Waldseligkeit, Op. 49/1. Säus’le liebe Myrthe, Op. 68/3. Einerlei, Op. 69/3. Schlechtes Wetter, Op. 69/5. Four Last Songs, Op. posth. Christiane Oelze (sop); Eric Schneider (pn) SOLO MUSICA 183 (76:22)


As it happened, I put this CD on right after reviewing Martin Bezuyen’s disastrous recording of Schumann and Berg songs (see elsewhere in this issue). The contrast between Bezuyen and Oelze couldn’t be more striking. Not only does Oelze have a magnificent instrument (more on that later), but she interprets her songs with far more feeling than Bezuyen. I was also delighted to hear the clarity of her diction, always a problem when you have high sopranos singing Lieder.


Prior to hearing this disc, I was only familiar with Oelze as the outstanding Pamina in John Eliot Gardiner’s recording of Die Zauberflöte (DG Arkiv), and although she will not efface memories of Fischer-Dieskau in this material, she does a very fine job. And oh my, what an absolutely gorgeous voice she has! Although their basic timbres are somewhat different, Oelze has the same kind of “crystalline” sound that Kathleen Battle had in her prime. Yes, honestly, her voice sounds like someone tapping a crystal goblet with a spoon. The overtones of this voice are so breathtaking that one almost doesn’t notice what a fine interpreter she really is. Granted, in a voice this gentle the climaxes of Cäcilie don’t ring out the way one would ideally like (for instance, Jussi Björling or Florence Austral), but Oelze gives it her all, and in a song like Heimliche Aufforderung she is virtually perfect. And yes, pianist Schneider is with her every step of the way. In her brief notes, Oelze says, “With Eric by my side whilst studying the songs, I felt able to do anything, called to do everything. It was fun to rehearse with him; together, we were unbeatable!” And indeed they are. If Cäcilie is a shade less than thrilling, Morgen, Blauer Sommer , and Freundliche Vision are absolutely superb.


I was also impressed with Oelze in the less-familiar songs, where her competition is less stiff, such as the very brief Xenion, Hat gesagt—bleibt’s nicht dabei, Muttertändelei , and Säus’le liebe Myrthe . All of these bespeak a very serious artist, one who obviously enjoys her work but understands that you have to “internalize” these songs in order to do them justice. I was particularly looking forward to hearing how she did the Four Last Songs, not because I like them but the opposite—I generally find them dull, uninteresting, and mechanically written. It doesn’t matter to me that two such legendary names as Kirsten Flagstad and Wilhelm Furtwängler performed them back in 1950, I still find the music gray and blah-sounding. So how does Oelse perform them? Superbly, as it turns out, not only better than Flagstad-Furtwängler but even better than Schwarzkopf with Szell. Much of this is due not only to her ethereal, crystalline voice, but also to Schneider’s equally ethereal and crystalline pianism. Both singer and accompanist manage to make each of these songs “float” in the ionosphere, and the soprano brings to them as much commitment in interpretation as she did to Befreit, Freundliche Vision, and Traum durch die Dämmerung , which helps considerably in making them sound enjoyable. In the notes, Oelze particularly commends Schneider for his piano arrangement, which she says “filled up the ample orchestral material,” noting particularly “the end of the last song, where the shifting harmonies do not become blurred as they do in the orchestra.”


The delight of having such a fine singer-pianist in this sort of program is that you want to keep listening to hear how she does the next song, and the next, and the one after that; and the Oelze-Schneider duo is clearly among the best nowadays. Overall, I might not have given the CD such a high rating were it not for the fact that I just enjoyed it so much, but if you are a Strauss song buff, this is one disc you need to have in your collection, despite the few moments where the gentle climaxes of Oelze’s voice are not quite ideal.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Xenion ("Nichts vom Vergänglichen wie's auch geschal"), song for voice & piano, o.Op. 131 (TrV 282, by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Eric Schneider (Piano), Christiane Oelze (Soprano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 0 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2. Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 2, Nichts by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
3. Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 3, Die Nacht by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4. Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 8, Allerseelen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5. Lieder (6), Op. 17: no 2, Ständchen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1887; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
6. Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 2, Cäcilie by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7. Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 3, Heimliche Aufforderung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
8. Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 4, Morgen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
9. Lieder (3), Op. 29: no 1, Traum durch die Dämmerung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Written: 1895 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
10. Lieder (3), Op. 29: no 2, Schlagende Herzen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
11. Blauer Sommer ("Ein blauer Sommer glanz- und glutenschwer"), song for voice & piano, Op. 31/1 (TrV 1 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1896 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
12. Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 1, Das Rosenband by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
13. Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 3, Hat gesagt, bleibts nicht dabei by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
14. Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 
15. Lieder (3), Op. 43: no 2, Muttertändelei by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
16. Lieder (5), Op. 48: no 1, Freundliche Vision by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
17. Lieder (8), Op. 49: no 1, Waldseligkeit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
18. Säusle, liebe Myrthe!, song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 68/3 (TrV 235/3) by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1918 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
19. Lieder (5), Op. 69: no 3, Einerlei by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Eric Schneider (Piano), Christiane Oelze ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
20. Lieder (5), Op. 69: no 5, Schlechtes Wetter by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (), Eric Schneider (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
21. Four Last Songs, AV 150 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Eric Schneider (Piano), Christiane Oelze ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Venue:  Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Cologne 
Length: 20 Minutes 24 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 one of the least lovely recordings September 19, 2013 By A. Paradis (Toronto, ON) See All My Reviews "I'm afraid I thought your reviewer must have been keenly agitated by what he'd just heard before listening to this unsatisfactory Straus lieder disc. It's uninteresting in any way other than that at this point Oelze can be relied on for accurate pitch. She is a fine singer, but this isn't the best way to get to know her ..." Report Abuse
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