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Dorothea Röschmann - Handel Deutsche Arien (German Arias)
George Frideric Handel, Georg Philipp Telemann, Dorothea Röschmann
Dorothea Röschmann - Handel Deutsche Arien (German Arias)
Genres: Pop, Classical
George Frideric Handel and Hamburg town councillor and poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes were students at the same time in Halle, and it's probable that they knew each other and were perhaps even friends. Brockes wrote a nine...  more »


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George Frideric Handel and Hamburg town councillor and poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes were students at the same time in Halle, and it's probable that they knew each other and were perhaps even friends. Brockes wrote a nine-volume anthology, from the first volume of which Handel, between 1724 and 1727, set his Nine German Arias. In translation, the Brockes work is titled "Earthly Delight in God, Consisting of Physical and Moral Poems," the texts reflecting pleasure in the glory of God's natural creation. Handel had been writing opera in England since 1710; the reason behind the composition of these arias, his last works in German, and which were unpublished in his lifetime, remains unknown. Nevertheless, this is ravishingly beautiful music, impeccably crafted and here performed with exquisitely balanced and open textures by the award-winning Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Dorothea Röschmann is a wonderfully warm soprano, ideally suited to the generous spirit of this repertoire. She has previously recorded Handel's Messiah, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and Telemann's Orpheus; Telemann's E minor and G major quartets from his 1733 collection of "Table Music" make delightful instrumental interludes in this vibrant, eloquent, and utterly captivating program. --Gary S. Dalkin

CD Reviews

Gorgeous singing!
Izolda | North Haven, CT United States | 03/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have listened to a few tracks from this recording, and since it is new and the artist is not very well known yet, I would like to encourage everybody interested in baroque singing to buy this wonderful disc. Roschmann's singing is astonishingly rich and brings constant delight. Some readers may remember her from one of the most exciting discoveries of last years, Telemann's "Orfeo" (conducted by Jacobs), where she portrayed queen Orasia. She also appeared in the famous "Messiah" under McCreesh, as well as in Handel's "Giustino" (under McGegan). It is one of the most wonderful soprano voices to appear recently and happily she is given here an opportunity to shine in a solo recital devoted to rarely recorded Handel's German Arias. The 79 minutes long disc contains also Telemann's "Paris" Quartets - in G and E minor, since Roschmann's arias were not intended as a separate release. Incidentally, Roschmann's recital is among "Gramophone"'s 10 best releases of April (the magazine also presents an interview with the artist on p. 17). I won't be surprised if it is voted one of the best recordings of this year. Warmest recommendation!"
Joyous, Contemplative Music -- Earthy, Spiritual Singing
Terry Serres | Minneapolis, MN United States | 06/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I cannot recommend this recording highly enough. All elements are in delightful harmony. With recordings of the Neun Deutsche Arien from two of my favorite singers, Arleen Augér and Emma Kirkby, this performance still came as a revelation. The strength of the ensemble deserves much credit, but it's the rich individuality of Ms. Röschmann's voice that is the recording's distinct and defining merit. A mezzo's cushiness, an alto's huskiness, with the soprano's reach-all lending the pieces an essential blend of the earthy and the spiritual. Her technique is quite unusual and interesting, and wholly convincing here, although an approach I hope she doesn't take indiscriminately elsewhere. She possesses melting legato, estimable breath control, delicious and judicious vibrato. Her way with the coloratura is surefooted ... yet somewhat throaty and with a somewhat unrefined feel, giving the music an appeal that is direct, simple, even humble rather than ornate. The flung leaps and offhand passage work might not work with an older voice or less attractive timbre, but here they seem to flow from the mood and the melody, truly enhancing the character of the music. (René Jacobs, the middling countertenor who has evolved over the last 15 years into one of the world's most accomplished early-music conductors, above all in Monteverdi, is credited with the ornamentation.)The pieces are an oddity even in Haendel's varied output. The texts are idyllic pictures of pantheistic contentment. These are couched in durable melodies, following the model of the da capo aria (ABA), but with the contrasting middle section here offering very little by way of contrast-certainly not in tempo or mood, though they can be less overtly melodic, almost parenthetical. (Omission of woodwind from the B section in a couple of instances is the only significant formal nod to this convention.) The instrumentation is for strings and harpsichord or organ, with woodwind in some pieces-flute, oboe, or bassoon, never more than one in any aria. It's a rather foursquare arrangement, but with some unusual harmonies expertly slipped in.The ensemble here is very accomplished: subtle and supple violin, expressive lower strings, appropriately recessed continuo, lilting winds. The violin work has an improvised effect, such is its sweetness of tone, fluidity in tempo, flexibility in rubato, sensitivity in ornamentation. The lower strings (including a viole d'amour that seems sometimes to be strummed) have less opportunity to shine, but are consistent and beautiful and never prone to tiring sameness; I did love the amusing digs of the bass in the seventh aria (presented second here) at the line "Die ihr aus dunklen Grüften" ("Ye that from dark pits"). These arias, with their spirituality residing securely in baroque formality, are very Bachian in nature and ability to satisfy.The virtues of the instrumental ensemble fully justify entrusting them with the "filler" items on the disc, two quartets by Telemann. (Note that the fourth part of the quartet is basso continue, which if my ears don't deceive can be taken by bass, harpsichord, or both.) The E minor quartet for flute, violin, cello, and continuo is fairly moody. The G major for flute, oboe, violin, and bass is more extrovert, with greater contrasts between sections: for example, the expansive second movement starts out briskly, but leads to an elegiac middle section with stirrings of the abandoned briskness before the restatement. The third movement, Largo, is transitory and not developed at all, leading into the jubilant finale with vigorously strummed strings that has an appropriate valedictory atmosphere.This recording is a wonderful treasure and was one of my very favorites of 2001. I look forward to hearing Ms. Röschmann in Lieder, where her gifts must certainly lead her."
DAVID BRYSON | Glossop Derbyshire England | 07/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"`Everything rejoices'. The poems of Handel's 9 German arias rejoice in God's creation as manifested in the beauty of nature. They are the work of Barthold Heinrich Brockes, a fellow-student with Handel at university with whom he seems to have stayed on friendly terms. Handel's arias are not early works, they date from the height of his English period and are not known or believed to have been written to any commission or for any specific occasion. They do not seem to have been composed as a set. In style they come as close to Bach as anything I know by Handel, although I don't mean by that that they sound like Bach. You would not easily mistake their authorship, but what they show is the `absolute' musician in Handel rather than the musical dramatist or rhetorician. The voice is accompanied in each song by a single solo instrument, mostly violin but varied on this disc with flute and oboe, and by a standard continuo, and they are simply exquisite. They are not miniatures either - the shortest, In den angenehmen Buschen, has no middle section and takes four and a half minutes or thereabouts, the longest, Suesser Blumen, takes nearly eight and a half - in other words they are the length of representative movements from the Beethoven sonatas. Where they resemble neither Bach nor Beethoven nor anyone else in musical history is in Handel's incomparable feel for the voice and his unequalled instinct for how words go to music.

Dorothea Roeschmann is a new artist to me, and an acquaintance I'm pleased to make. These days the standard of work we are offered by the various early-music groups is so high and so consistent that nothing less than excellence will do, and we are offered nothing less than excellence here, by Roeschmann, by the Berlin Akademie and indeed by Harmonia Mundi. The disc is also excellent value, containing as it does nearly 80 minutes of music. What they have all done is to make a concert of it rather than just a recording of 9 arias. The order of the arias is rearranged, which surely ought to bother nobody as they were not conceived as a set in the first place. After the fifth and ninth arias there is a `quatuor' for flute, oboe, violin and continuo by Telemann. These are in the standard four short movements with slow and fast alternating that one finds in the trio sonatas of Handel himself and other contemporaries. They are thoroughly enjoyable and offset the work of the greater master very effectively. The liner note accompanying the texts of the arias is by Roman Hinke with English and French translations at all points. It is really quite useful and informative, but I am still getting over the hearty Teutonic similitude comparing the Telemann works to `the culturally enriching equivalent of the swirl of whipped cream topping the pigeon pie with champagne truffles', which reads even better in German as `das schoengeistige Sahnehaeubchen zu Taubenpastete mit Champagnertrueffeln'. Hard to argue with that really, indeed in my own town we eat little else."