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Stimme Der Sehnsucht / Christianne Stotijn, Joseph Breinl

Stotijn / Breinl
Release Date: 01/10/2012 
Label:  Onyx   Catalog #: 4075  
Composer:  Hans PfitznerGustav MahlerRichard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne StotijnJoseph Breinl
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


The title of this CD translates as "Voice of Longing", and is taken from a poem by Carl Busse (1872-1918). In it, he represents longing as a tiring, whispering sound, a dark and confused spirit from Thule. Edgar Allan Poe adds "melancholy and dread" to the mixture. This collection of 18 songs examines the feeling--elusive yet strong, sometimes evoking nostalgia, sometimes fear, sometimes optimism for something just out of reach. It isn't quite as dreary as it sounds, but neither is it a barrel of monkeys.

Christianne Stotijn has a warm, expressive mezzo with a bright edge at the top, and her impeccable diction is used to tell the story of each song. The title song
Read more is set by Hans Pfitzner, and this and his other four settings are challenging: his particular brand of German expressionism is thorny, but Stotijn sells them. His are the most nervous and disturbing depictions of longing. The more familiar Strauss songs include "Ständchen" and "Zueignung"--and anyone who knows them knows the sense of peace and charm he can impart; and "Morgen", which ends the recital, is positively upbeat: longing as optimism.

The five well-known Kindertotenlieder receive understated readings (compared with, say, Fischer-Dieskau's) with the hopelessness and misery ("alas, too soon snuffed-out ray of happiness" in "Wenn der Mütterlein", for example) acknowledged as fact and not dwelt upon. At times Stotijn takes the vibrato out of her voice entirely, but she doesn't overdo it; its effect is of a chill of resignation.

Joseph Breinl's accompaniments are almost too reserved, but then again, it would have been easy for both mezzo and pianist to turn this recital into an unbearable dirge. Beautifully recorded, this is a terrific CD, one that you should own even if you won't be playing it very often. It's thoughtful and downbeat, but essentially lovely and filled with great artistry. The good times may be rolling, but not here.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lieder (5), Op. 7: no 4, Lockung by Hans Pfitzner
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
2.
Lieder (5), Op. 7: no 2, Nachtwanderer by Hans Pfitzner
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
3.
Lieder (5), Op. 26: no 2, Nachts by Hans Pfitzner
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Germany 
4.
Lieder (4), Op. 29: no 3, Wilkommen und Abschied by Hans Pfitzner
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Germany 
5.
Lieder (3), Op. 10: no 3, Zum Abschied meiner Tochter by Hans Pfitzner
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; Germany 
6.
Lieder (2), Op. 19: no 1, Stimme der Sehnsucht by Hans Pfitzner
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; Germany 
7.
Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1904; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Schlichte Weisen (5), Op. 21: no 1, All' mein Gedanken by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1888; Germany 
9.
Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 1, Zueignung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
10.
Lieder (6), Op. 17: no 2, Ständchen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1887; Germany 
11.
Lieder (5), Op. 69: no 5, Schlechtes Wetter by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
12.
Lieder (5), Op. 47: no 2, Des Dichters Abendgang by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
13.
Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
14.
Lieder (3), Op. 29: no 3, Nachtgang by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Germany 
15.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 4, Morgen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christianne Stotijn (Mezzo Soprano), Joseph Breinl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 

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