Gurrelieder
Arnold Schönberg

Gurrelieder

Abbado/ Wiener Philharmoniker/ Wiener Staatsopernchor /Arnold Schoenberg Chor

ELQ 4807055 - 0028948070558

Information GreatBrittain Germany

2013 marks the centenary of the first performance of Schoenberg’s – if not the early 20th century’s – essay in gargantuism.
The forces involved were unprecedented: in addition to the soloists (soprano, mezzo-soprano, two tenors, bass and speaker) there were three male-voice choirs and an eight-part mixed choir; and the 150-piece orchestra included 25 woodwind, 11 percussion, 4 harps and 80 strings. In 1903 he had even been compelled to ask the Waldheim–Eberle Press to prepare him some special 48-stave manuscript paper. The reception at the first performance was overwhelming: the ovation lasted fifteen minutes; the composer’s denigrators were silenced, and many members of the audience wept. The title means 'Songs of Gurre', referring to Gurre Castle in Denmark, scene of the medieval love-tragedy revolving around the Danish national legend of the love of the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag (spelt Waldemar by Schoenberg) for his mistress Tove, and her subsequent murder by Valdemar's jealous Queen Helvig.

Its performances and recordings have attracted some of the world’s finest dramatic sopranos – among them Susan Dunn and Jessye Norman, and here, Sharon Sweet. In a survey of this work, Gramophone magazine selected this, Claudio Abbado’s recording as the finest ever made. It was, then, only available for digital download, and is now, after an absence of several years, returns to the CD catalogue in a year which also celebrates Abbado’s 80th birthday.

‘… Abbado's interpretation, is the most Expressionistically detailed of all. The textures shimmer and then glint to reveal Schoenberg's' own sea-change in orchestral writing over a decade … Abbado and the Viennese live dangerously – and when day breaks and that prickly cactus Schoenberg finally blooms, they are unrivalled in splendour.’  Peter Quantrill, Gramophone
 
‘Abbado's pacing of "Gurrelieder's" 110-minute duration may be the best on records: the tension never flags, and the music's atmospheric richness is never short-changed. He also has a terrific cast. Siegfried Jerusalem (Waldemar) sings with warmth, conviction and imagination, and handles the music's heroic line without the barking to which many tenors resort. Sharon Sweet is a luminous Tove, and Marjana Lipovsek sings affectingly as Wood Dove, who relates Tove's murder and Waldemar's grief at her funeral. ’ The Baltimore Sun

Die Zeitschrift Gramopohne kürte Claudio Abbados Aufnahme der Gurrelieder zur besten, die je gemacht wurde.
Lange Zeit war sie lediglich zum Download erhältlich und wurde nun nach vielen Jahren wieder in den  CD-Katalog aufgenommen – rechtzeitig zum 80. Geburtstag des großen Dirigenten.
Siegfried Jerusalem (Waldemar)
Sharon Sweet (Tove)
Marjana Lipovsek (Wood Dove)
 

Tracklisting
  • 1
    Part 1 1. Orchestral Prelude
  • 2
    2. Waldemar: Nun dämpft die Dämmerung
  • 3
    3. Tove: O, wenn des Mondes Strahlen
  • 4
    4. Waldemar: Ross! Mein Ross!
  • 5
    5. Tove: Sterne jubeln
  • 6
    6. Waldemar: So tanzen die Engel
  • 7
    7. Tove: Nun sag ich dir zum ersten Mal
  • 8
    8. Waldemar: Es ist Mitternachtszeit
  • 9
    9. Tove: Du sendest mir einen Liebesblick
  • 10
    10. Waldemar: Du wunderliche Tove!
    10a. Orchestral Interlude
  • 11
    11. Voice of the Wood-dove: Doves of Gurre
  • 1
    Part 2: 12. Waldemar: Herrgott, weisst du, was du tatest
  • 2
    Part 3: 13. Waldemar: Erwacht, König Waldemars Mannen wert!
  • 3
    14. Peasant: Deckel des Sarges Klappert
  • 4
    15. Waldemar's Men: Gegrüsst, o König
  • 5
    16. Waldemar: Mit Toves Stimme flüstert der Wald
  • 6
    17. Klaus the Jester: Ein seltsamer Vogel
  • 7
    18. Waldemar: Du strenger Richter
  • 8
    19. Waldemar's Men: Der Hahn erhebt den Kopf
  • 9
    20. Orchestral Prelude
  • 10
    21. Speaker: Herr Gänsefuss, Frau Gänsekraut
  • 11
    22. Mixed Chorus: Seht die Sonne