Franz Schubert: Lieder With Orchestra

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Time and again, composers – well-known and lesser-known – have arranged Franz Schubert's piano songs for orchestra. These versions are not in any way intended to cast doubt upon the powerful quality of the originals, they merely place them in a different light, and/or attempt to make them easier to perform on a larger scale – when an art song cannot be performed in an intimate salon or chamber music hall, it can also make an impact in a large concert hall. Baritone Benjamin Appl has compiled nineteen such arrangements from the 19th and 20th centuries for this new CD from BR-KLASSIK. The Münchner Rundfunkorchester, conducted by Oscar Jockel, provides accompaniment that is subtle and in keeping with the work.

"To my ear, it is often quite insulting, in a giant hall and after an orchestral number, to have to listen to a singer performing lieder to a spindly piano accompaniment!” Max Reger scolded, and he went on to take appropriate action by orchestrating several piano songs, including thirteen by Schubert. Many famous composers were not above taking on the role of arranger. Indeed, they even saw an artistic challenge in "staging" the Lied in a new and colourful way using the possibilities of the orchestra – and without altering the musical substance in the process.

The versions of Schubert's "An die Musik", "Im Abendrot", "Nacht und Träume", "Prometheus" and "Erlkönig" recorded here are by Max Reger; Anton Webern created those for "Du bist die Ruh", "Tränenregen" or "Der Wegweiser"; Johannes Brahms arranged "Geheimes", Jacques Offenbach the "Ständchen", and Benjamin Britten "Die Forelle". Further arrangements are by conductor Felix Mottl ("Der Tod und das Mädchen"), lied accompanist Alexander Schmalcz ("Abendstern", "An Silvia") and composer Kurt Gillmann ("Ganymed"). The album is rounded off by the first recording of Johann von Herbeck’s orchestrations of Schubert's dances, thus establishing a connection between folk music and Schubert's art songs.
Catalogue number 900346
Barcode 4035719003468
Release date 06/10/2023
Label BR Klassik
Format CD
Number of discs 1
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