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Love's Twilight / Anne Sophie Von Otter, Bengt Forsberg


Release Date: 03/21/1994 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 437515   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard StraussErich Wolfgang KorngoldAlban Berg
Performer:  Bengt ForsbergAnne Sofie von Otter
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

In her recent survey of The Nineteenth Century German Lied (Amadeus Press: 1993), Lorraine Gorrell sees the later composers "writing in a style that was highly suited to orchestral accompaniments", often orchestrating their songs or thinking in orchestral colours even when confining themselves to the piano. We are aware of that with the three composers here. For the very first song, Der Rosenband, Strauss provided such an exquisitely orchestrated version that one hears the instruments even as the pianist plays. Berg's Seven Early Songs, the first dating from 1905-06, were scored by him with great care in 1928; and Korngold's songs have an orchestral sub-text implied throughout in the harmonic colouring which ranges from rich to Read more lush. The surprising thing, in view of this, is how pianistic the accompaniments still are, and, as these performances make especially clear, how skilfully the tone-painting and creation of atmosphere are achieved within the restrictive intimate scope of the traditional Lied.

The chosen Strauss songs here are characteristically gentle and affectionate, a mood in which von Otter is often at her best. Not that, having captured a mood, she is content to let it lie dully over as much as a verse or a line. In Der Rosenband she is always sensitive to the modulations; in kh trage meine Minne the voice darkens with the change of tonality in verse two; in Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten she captures the subdued excitement of the opening as she does the frank exultation of the close. Hat gesagt invites the comical country-girl characterization in which I find her style heavyhanded, the playful mood being more happily caught in Die sieben Siegel.

For lightness of touch, the Op. 38 songs endear themselves among the Korngold group: Gliickwunsch has an unaffected, comfortable way with it (a little adaptation could turn it neatly into Roger Quilter or even Jerome Kern), and Alt-spanisch (with its reminiscence of "On yonder hill there stands a maiden") is a charmer. In Op. 18 he seems to be rather self-consciously wearing his Vienneseschool clothes, and the Sterbelied (a translation of Christina Rossetti's When I am dead, my dearest) seems in this very tender performance perhaps a shade too long drawn-out.

At the centre of the recital are the Seven Early Songs of Alban Berg. The first, "Nacht", which is also the longest and most readily memorable, is taken rather more slowly than usual, losing, I think, a little in cohesion (contrast the fine performance by Mafgaret Marshall and Geoffrey Parsons, also on DG), but gaining in its subtler evocations of the mists and then the silvered mountain paths. Von Otter's draining the voice of all vibrato also helps create the sense of watchful stillness, just as in the sixth song, "Liebesode", it makes for an almost other-worldly dreaminess, deepening to a full-bodied passion as the rose scent is borne to the love-bed. Always the mezzosoprano voice is resourcefully used, able to colour deeply at such points, to float a pure head-tone in "Traumgekrönt" or launch a radiant high A in "Die Nachtigall". For both artists the record is a worthy successor to their Gramophone Award-winning DG Grieg recital of last year (6/93).

-- Gramophone [6/1994]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 1, Das Rosenband by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Lieder (5), Op. 32: no 1, Ich trage meine Minne by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 3, Hat gesagt, bleibts nicht dabei by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Lieder (6), Op. 37: no 3, Meinem Kinde by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Lieder (5), Op. 46: no 3, Die sieben Siegel by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Lieder aus Lotusblättern (6), Op. 19: no 4, Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1888; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Lieder (5), Op. 38: no 1, Glückwunsch by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Lieder (5), Op. 38: no 3, Alt-spanisch by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Abschiedslieder, Op. 14: no 1, Sterbelied by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Abschiedslieder, Op. 14: no 4, Gefasster Abschied by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Sonett für Wien, Op. 41 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 
13.
Early Songs (7): no 1, Nacht by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: German 
14.
Early Songs (7): no 2, Schilflied by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Early Songs (7): no 3, Die Nachtigall by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: German 
16.
Early Songs (7): no 4, Traumgekrönt by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: German 
17.
Early Songs (7): no 5, Im Zimmer by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
18.
Early Songs (7): no 6, Liebesode by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: German 
19.
Early Songs (7): no 7, Sommertage by Alban Berg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
20.
Einfache Lieder (6), Op. 9: no 4, Liebesbriefchen by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: German 
21.
Gesänge (3), Op. 18: no 1, In meine innige Nacht by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: German 
22.
Gesänge (3), Op. 18: no 2, Tu ab den Schmerz by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Bengt Forsberg (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: German 
23.
Gesänge (3), Op. 18: no 3, Versuchung by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: German 

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