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Fruh - Berg, Schonberg, Webern / Kielland, Mortensen

Kielland / Mortensen / Berg
Release Date: 01/08/2013 
Label:  Lawo Classics   Catalog #: 1033   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alban BergAnton WebernArnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Marianne Beate KiellandNils Anders Mortensen
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BERG 13 Jugendlieder. SCHOENBERG Four Lieder , op. 2. WEBERN Achte frühe Lieder Marianne Beate Kielland (mez); Nils Anders Mortensen (pn) LAWO 1035 (48:15 Text and Translation)


The interesting aspect of Berg’s Jugendlieder is that Read more they were composed before he met Schoenberg. George Perle writes “His musical education before his meeting with Schoenberg in October 1904 was negligible, to judge from the numerous songs that he had composed by that time.” ( The New Grove Second Viennese School. ) OK, the Jugendlieder are not great music, but they give us Berg unvarnished, a romantic (in both senses) teenager who was already stretching conventional harmonies. There is evidence that he wrote as many as 90 songs before age 20. A few major singers have ventured into this territory: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau recorded about 18 of them, Jessye Norman seven. Helene Lindqvist sings 39 of them on a Col Lego disc, of which I said in Fanfare 30:2: “a plush, warm soprano ... her vocal production is smooth and clear but her pitch unreliable.” Norwegian mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland is more subtle than Lindqvist, her pitch is more reliable, and her voice opens up nicely at forte . She and Berg capture the essence of these gushing but often limp poems about love and nature. Her diction is not as clear as Lindqvist’s, so her soft pianissimo s obscure a few words, but ( mirabile dictu !) the booklet contains complete German texts and English translations. Notes and biographical sketches are in English and in Norwegian. Lindqvist’s CD has only German texts. For the record, seven of the Berg songs appear on both discs.


These are not Schoenberg’s earliest songs; written in 1899, months before Verklärte Nacht , they had been preceded by many songs over the previous decade (his Cabaret Songs —written to earn a meager living—came later). Still basically Romantic music, the op. 2 songs are elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful compared to Berg’s honest but sometimes clumsy outpourings. Kiellend sings them gorgeously, with Nils Anders Mortensen as a full partner, not just mere accompanist.


Webern’s eight early songs were also written (1901–1904) before he studied with Schoenberg—thus the title of this disc: Früh (Early). They are conventionally tonal and bear evidence of 19th-century Lieder, Schumann and Wolf in particular. They are nearly as poised as the Schoenberg songs and make a fascinating contrast to the Webern we know. He chooses to celebrate the joys of love (and of night), whereas Berg sings of its frustrations and pain.


In short, gorgeous lyricism that no Lieder-lover need fear!


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1.
Über den Bergen by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1902; Austria 
2.
Winter by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Written: c1902 
3.
Traurigkeit by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Written: c1902 
4.
Tiefe Sehnsucht by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Written: c1904 
5.
Spaziergang by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1909; Austria 
6.
Fraue, du Süsse by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Austria 
7.
Flötenspielerin by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Written: c1904-8 
8.
Erster Verlust by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1904-1905; Austria 
9.
Er klagt, dass der Frühling so kortz blüht by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1902; Austria 
10.
Augenblicke by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Written: c1904-8 
11.
An Leukon by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Austria 
12.
Am Strande by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Written: c1902 
13.
Hoffnung by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
14.
Early Lieder (8) by Anton Webern
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1904; Austria 
15.
Songs (4), Op. 2 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Nils Anders Mortensen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; Vienna, Austria 

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