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Reason in Madness



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Throughout history men have feared madwomen, burning them as witches, confining them in asylums and subjecting them to psychoanalysis – yet, they have also been fascinated, unable to resist fantasizing about them. For their new disc, Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton have created a programme that explores the responses of a variety of composers to women whose stories have left them vulnerable and exposed. As a motto they have chosen an aphorism by Nietzsche: ‘There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness'. Brahms’ Ophelia Songs, composed for a stage production of Hamlet, appear next to those by Richard Strauss and Chausson, while Ophelia's death is described by both Schumann (in Herzeleid) and Saint-Saëns. Goethe’s mysterious and traumatized Mignon appears in settings by Hugo Wolf as well as Duparc, while his ill-used Gretchen grieves by her spinning-wheel in Schubert's matchless setting. Sampson and Middleton end their recital as it began, with a suicide by drowning: in Poulenc’s monologue La Dame de Monte-Carlo, the elderly female protagonist has been unlucky at the gambling tables and decides to throw herself into the sea.
Facts
Item number BIS2353
Barcode 7318599923536
Release date 01/04/2019
Category Classical
Label BIS Records
Media type SACD
Number of units 1
Performers
Artists Sampson, Carolyn
Middleton, Joseph
Composers Schubert, Franz
Schumann, Robert
Brahms, Johannes
Strauss, Richard
Saint-Saëns, Camille
Chausson, Ernest
Debussy, Claude
Kœchlin, Charles
Wolf, Hugo
Duparc, Henri
Poulenc, Francis
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