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Open Your Eyes

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Overripe romanticism, lyrical songs and cabaret humour from the turn of the C20th

Soprano Katherine Broderick makes her debut recording on Champs Hill Records with a recital disc of Strauss, Berg and Schoenberg, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau.

Katherine Broderick was the winner of the 2007 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Following studies at the National Opera Studio in London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music and the Mendelssohn Hochschule in Leipzig, she is now a member of the ENO Young Singers Programme. In demand at opera houses in the UK and Europe, her stage repertoire encompasses Wagner, Verdi, Mozart and Britten.

The repertoire on 'Open Your Eyes' was all composed between 1885 and 1908 and opens with Eight poems by Herman Gilm's from his Letze Blätter which Richard Strauss set in 1885 while still in his very early twenties. The set includes three of his best-­- loved songs (also recorded by Felicity Lott on CHR CD037) including Die Nacht where he shows his flair for nocturnal tone painting and Allerseelen or All Souls Day where the most lyrical of vocal lines is set against the background of flower-­-decked graves.

Alban Berg composed his 'Seven Early Songs' starting in 1905, while a student of Schoenberg, with the songs influenced by Strauss, Mahler, Wolf and Debussy and have a distinct sense of a romance musical world expanded beyond its limits, on the brink of dissolving into modernism.

Arnold Schoenberg's Brettl Lieder or Cabaret Songs of 1901 are tonal works, intended to use a more popular song idiom to convey more 'serious' ideas, and setting eight poems taken from a collection published as simply 'German Songs' in 1900 by Otto Julius Bierbaum. The most unusual of the set is Hugo Salus' Der Genügsamerliebhaber or 'Easily satisfied lover': a man tells us that his lady-­-friend has a black cat with a soh, velvety coat. The woman spends all her time caressing her cat's fur while it sits on her lap, and it shivers when he strokes it. Later, he puts the kitty on his bald head and she plays with it and laughs. Throughout the songs, Schoenberg's responds to the texts with simplicity and humour, and no little suggestiveness in this instance.
Item number CHRCD046
Barcode 5060212590473
Release date 29/10/2012
Label Champs Hill
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Broderick, Katherine
Martineau, Malcolm
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