Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Hans Pfitzner, Martin Sieghart, Barbara Holzl|
Hans Pfitzner: Von Deutscher Seele
"Pfitzner explores passionately the place of the individual Romantic idealist within the wider world ... The Vienna Singverein comes into its own as the unquiet spirit of Brahms oppresses the wanderings of Part 2. And, ... more »
"Pfitzner explores passionately the place of the individual Romantic idealist within the wider world ... The Vienna Singverein comes into its own as the unquiet spirit of Brahms oppresses the wanderings of Part 2. And, powerfully directed by Martin Sieghart, they and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra give their all in the concluding Liederteil, surging with sentiment and a new, fierce strength." -- BBC Music [****]Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) was a German nationalist composer in the Late Romantic vein of Richard Strauss. The cantata Von deutscher Seele is one of his finest works. The Vienna Symphonic Orchestra performs around 170 concerts a year. It is extremely active as a touring orchestra, and travels regularly throughout Europe and the US.
Superb orchestral and choral playing (and decent soloists) i
G.D. | Norway | 12/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of several wonderful surprises from the Arte Nova label. Now, I have to admit at the outset that there are alternative recordings of Pfitzner's big cantata Von Deutscher Seele out there (Fischer-Dieskau and Rieger on Deutsche Grammophon, and a Keilberth release with a starry cast, are probably the strongest), which I haven't heard, but despite a few rough edges, I cannot imagine this work being much better played than it is here; and the sound quality should give this one a certain edge as well - it is a live recording, apparently from Vienna in 1999, but extraneous noises are few and never intrusive; the sound is well-balanced, vivid and with depth.
Pfitzner was of course a hardcore romantic - where Richard Strauss looked back to Mozart when it came to coloring his violently passionate, opulent romanticism, Pfitzner relied on Schumann and Schubert. He was also a master of the orchestra (just as much so as Strauss), and an imaginative composer of genuinely inspired music, and the cantata here is an example of the composer at his best. Von Deutsche Seele is a stirring masterpiece of gorgeous textures (much delectable use of the harp, for instance, and in particular in the Abend movement), ravishing orchestral blasts, tenderly enchanting melodies and a multifaceted atmosphere - mostly eerily dark and nightmarish, but with more than a streak of defiant sunshine coming through. The Wiener Symphoniker are generally on top form; listen for instance to the Mahlerian grotesqueries of Tod als Postillon, the frightening spectacle of Wir wandern ..., the absorbing Ergebung or - in particular - the stormy, fierce valiantism of the climactic Schlussgesang.
And the soloists? Well, Glenn Winslade is not perhaps the most refined and beautiful voice imaginable, but he sings with authority and command. Robert Holl is a little too wobbly, in particular in louder passages. The female parts are far more than satisfactory, even if they, too, could be done with more refinement. The Wiener Singverein is, however, truly outstanding, although the main honors must go to Sieghart and the orchestra, who give us some excellent playing directed with panache and intelligence, poetically lyrical and brilliantly powerful in turns. To sum up, then, this is a really splendid performance - some blemishes apart - of a remarkable work; better solo parts could be imagined, but this is still a recording to treasure. I don't know how well it holds its own against the competition, but the orchestral playing, and the music itself, does to the extent of my knowledge warrant five stars"