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Mendelssohn: Early Songs / Huber, Ziesak, Suss

Mendelssohn / Ziesak / Suess
Release Date: 02/14/2012 
Label:  Cavi Music   Catalog #: 8553222  
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth ZiesakGerold HuberCarsten Süss
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MENDELSSOHN Early Songs Ruth Ziesak (sop); Carsten Süss (ten); Gerold Huber (pn) DEUTSCHLANDFUNK 8553222 (74:55 & no translations)


Felix Mendelssohn’s song output has been variously categorized as either untold masterworks or insignificant scribbles tossed off in periods of relaxed inactivity. The truth of the matter is quite different; according to many sources there was rarely a month gone by for a period of almost 30 years that Read more Mendelssohn was not occupied with Lieder composition. During his lifetime only a relatively scant 60-odd songs were published, though another 30 or so appeared after his death. Another 35-plus were composed in the composer’s early juvenile period, often for family and friends, rarely with the intent of wider distribution; in fact, he actively forbade any of these songs from seeing the public eye, and sister Fanny’s creative work from the same period often made its way under Felix’s signature.


Mendelssohn did not approach the Lied in the same way as Schubert or Schumann—he was temperamentally unsuited for it. And his structures are often rigorously strophic, something that has led some scholars to conclude that the genre was not taken as a serious medium for the composer. But instead of looking at the form they should pay more attention to what he does with it. Few composers, including the above-mentioned masters, are as adept at the curious concentration of focused sentiment and delightfully turned phrases, always expressing even the most banal of texts in a manner that brings them to life above that of the written words themselves. And what is even more amazing is that the songs on this recording, early all, display that same perfection of tone as his later ones.


Breitkopf’s third volume of the complete songs appeared only in 2009, and until then a full one-third of Mendelssohn’s output had hardly ever been heard. The 35 early songs on this disc go a long way to filling an obvious gap, and prove that Mendelssohn even as a youth knew his business when it came to Lieder. The pieces, even sans translations, are irresistibly engaging and thoroughly adept at satisfying the Mendelssohnian itch that those of us who love the composer inevitably suffer.


I have not heard such crisp and vigorously substantial interpretations since the old Judith Blegen/Frederica von Stade recordings of the 1970s. Those two had the style down pat, and Ruth Ziesak and Carsten Süss are hardly less competent, giving us readings of finesse and sharply etched point of view, while pianist Gerold Huber plays with a lot of wit, sympathy, and clarity. If you don’t know any of the composer’s songs, this is a good place to start, and for those whose collections are already rife with fine performances, this offering provides many new discoveries.


FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1. Wiegenlied by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Germany 
2. Weiter, rastlos atemlos vorüber by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
3. Und über dich wohl stimmt by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
4. Tanzt dem schönen Mai entgegen by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1823 
5. Songs (6), Op. 47: no 4, Volkslied by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
6. Songs (6), Op. 34: no 4, Suleika by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Germany 
7. Songs (4): no 4, Warum ich weine "Weinend seh' ich in die Nacht" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
8. Songs (4): no 3, An ihrem Grabe "Vier trübe Monden sind entfloh'n" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
9. Songs (4): no 2, Erwartung by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
10. So schlaf in Ruh by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
11. Sicheln schallen by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
12. Sanft weh'n im Hauch der Abendluft by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822 
13. Reiterlied "Immer fort" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 05/01/1830 
14. Rausche leise, grünes Dach by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1824 
15. Raste Krieger, Krieg ist aus by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Germany 
16. O könnt ich zu dir fliegen by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 08/15/1838 
17. Mitleidsworte, Trostesgründe, neue Dornen diesem Herzen by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 06/07/1825 
18. Lied einer Freundin "Zarter Blumen leicht Gewinde" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 07/13/1837 
19. Lieben und Schweigen by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Germany 
20. Ich denke dein by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1823 
21. Faunenklag by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 06/08/1823 
22. Es rauscht der Wald by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
23. Durch Fichten am Hügel by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
24. Die Nachtigall by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1821-1822 
25. Der Wasserfall "Rieselt hernieder" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1823 
26. Der Verlassene by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1821-22; Germany 
27. Der Tag "Sanft entschwanden mir" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 05/01/1830 
28. Der Bettler "Ich danke Gott dir" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 05/01/1830 
29. Andres Mailied "Ich weiss mir'n Mädchen" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 05/14/1834 
30. Am Seegestad by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 09/26/1823 
31. Abschied "Es weh'n die Wolken über Meer" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Gerold Huber (Piano), Carsten Süss (Tenor)

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