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Liszt - Roots & Routes / Elisabeth Kulman, Eduard Kutrowatz

Liszt / Kutrowatz / Kulman
Release Date: 02/14/2012 
Label:  Preiser Records   Catalog #: 91197  
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth KulmanEduard Kutrowatz
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LISZT Ich liebe dich. Angiolin dal biondo crin. Die 3 Ziguener. Es muss ein Wunderbares sein. Comment, disaient-ils. Einst. Go Not, Happy Day. Enfant, si j’étais roi. Was Liebe sei? S’il un charmant gazon. Mignons Lied. Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’. La Tombe et la rose. Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam. Es war ein König in Thule. J’ai perdu ma force et ma vie. Verlassen. Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher. Áldjon ég! Vergiftet sind meine Lieder. Do Not Rebuke Me, My Friend. La perla. O Meer im Abendstrahl Elisabeth Kulman (mez); Eduard Kutrowatz (pn) Read more PREISER 91197 (73:35 Text and Translation)


“Liszt wrote songs in six languages—and Elisabeth masters them all!” raves pianist Eduard Kutrowatz in the liner notes about his partner on this disc. She sure as heck does. And more than that, she has a simply magnificent instrument. More often than not, she sounds like a (very) slightly lighter-weight version of Christa Ludwig, and that’s nothing to gloss over. Moreover, she shares with Ludwig a penchant for interpreting words and doing so in a musical, beautifully phrased way. I dare you to listen to nearly any track here, but particularly Es muss ein Wunderbares sein , and tell me where she takes a breath. This young woman is definitely something very special.


Moreover, Kulman is that absolute rarity nowadays, a vocal colorist. She can fill her tones with a richness the color of a fine claret, or drain it of vibrato so that it just skims the edge of purple. She knows the meaning of inflection and of dramatic pauses. Like Ludwig, her singing has personality. She makes of La perla a thing of sensuous beauty, while Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher is transformed into a dramatic operatic scene, complete with ringing high notes (and here, in French, her voice closer resembles Rita Gorr than Ludwig). And a surprise: She ends the recital singing a duet with herself in O Meer in Abendstrahl , but makes of it an artistic endeavor and not just a studio recording stunt.


And, yes, her diction in all six languages is excellent (of course, I judge this not only from French and Italian words, but also from Liszt’s only song in English, Go Not, Happy Day ). She also does amazingly well for a Teutonic singer in Russian. Yes, Russian—Kulman and Kutrowatz unearthed a Liszt song in that language, set to a text by Aleksey Tolstoy, in Budapest (it was composed in 1866) and present it here as a premiere recording. The English title is Do Not Rebuke Me, My Friend . Like all of Liszt’s songs (as well as a lot of his piano music), its form and structure are heavily influenced by French and Italian opera, the same influences that fired the imagination of his future son-in-law, Wagner.


Lest we forget Kutrowatz’s contribution, he is simply marvelous, right there for Kulman regardless of the mood or color of each song. His playing has a full, rich, deep-in-the-keys tone, and his musical style is of the kind that just rolls along, making child’s play of the music’s technical difficulties (which, in Liszt, are always present). I am also highly impressed by the sonics, forward and clear, very realistic in presenting both singer and pianist in a warm yet realistic space. This one is a keeper—and Elisabeth Kulman goes on my short list of great modern singers.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, S 306 "Wandrers Nachtlied II" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848/1859; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Was Liebe sei, S 288 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1843; Germany 
3.
Verlassen, S 336 (LW N77) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880 
4.
Vergiftet sind meine Lieder, S 289 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
5.
S'il est un charmant gazon, S 284 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1844; Germany 
6.
O Meer im Abendstrahl, S 344 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1880; Rome, Italy 
7.
Mignons Lied, S 275 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842/1856; Germany 
8.
La tombe et la rose, S 285 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
9.
Jeanne d'Arc au bűcher, S 293 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Mainz, Germany 
10.
J'ai perdu ma force et ma vie, S 327 (LW N68) "Tristesse" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872 
11.
Go not, happy day, S 335 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Rome, Italy 
12.
Es war ein König in Thule, S 278 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842/1856; Germany 
13.
Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S 314 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Weimar, Germany 
14.
Enfant, si j'etais roi, S 283 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Weimar, Germany 
15.
Einst, S 332 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Rome, Italy 
16.
Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S 309 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855/1860; Weimar, Germany 
17.
Die drei Zigeuner, S 320 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Weimar, Germany 
18.
Comment, disaient-ils, S 276 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
19.
Angiolin dal biondo crin, S 269 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Weimar, Germany 
20.
Ich liebe dich, S 542a by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
21.
La perla, S 326 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Elisabeth Kulman (Mezzo Soprano), Eduard Kutrowatz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 

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