To celebrate the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss, TwoPianists Records introduces a new, authoritative, nine-disc set of the complete works for voice and piano by Strauss. Important not only because of its completeness, this collection also includes the first ever recordings of two Strauss songs: “Aus der Kindheit” and “Herbstabend,” TrV226.
Under the artistic guidance of renowned mezzo-soprano, Strauss expert and stage director Brigitte Fassbaender, the project brings together 13 handpicked singers to record the 179 extant songs and two melodramas that comprise Strauss’ oeuvre for voice and piano. All German-speaking and well-regarded Strauss interpreters, the singers were required to sing the songs in their original keys and in the voice part for which they were composed. Anja-Nina Bahrmann, Juliane Banse, Michelle Breedt, Jeongkon Choi, Markus Eiche, Christian Elsner, Brigitte Fassbaender, Brenden Gunnell, Lucian Krasznec, Christiane Libor, Andreas Mattersberger, Martin Mitterrutzner, Anke Vondung, and Manuel Walser accomplished this on over 90% of the songs recorded.
Presented in chronological order, the collection is a fascinating aural experience and listeners will be intrigued by Strauss’ musical development: from his first song, composed at the age of six with his mother’s help writing in the text, to the final song, “Malven” composed at the age of 84 during the last year of his life.
“In a planning meeting for the Richard Strauss Festival 2014, at which I, as artistic director, was discussing with Dr. Christian Wolf and Dr. Jürgen May of the Richard Strauss Institute, which special projects we were intending for the 150th Anniversary, the idea was born to record the complete vocal works with piano in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the beautiful little town at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Richard Strauss loved the region, built his Villa at Zoeppritzstraße 42 in Garmisch with the proceeds of the notorious, but financially successful ‘Salome,’ and lived there, initially using it as a summer house, then permanently, from 1908 until his death in 1949.
“On the day before recording began, the song ‘Herbstabend’ TrV226 arrived from a collection in Belgium. This song, as well as ‘Aus der Kindheit,’ is heard for the first time on record. We recorded daily from November 1st to the 30th 2013, sometimes for 12 hours or longer, in our mountainside studio in Garmisch Partenkirch.”
Five distinguished pianists (Christoph Berner, Burkhard Kehring, Malcolm Martineau, Wolfram Rieger, Nina Schumann) and three solo instrumentalists (violin, horn and trumpet), bring to life the thick orchestral textures of Strauss’ accompaniments, arguably comprising some of the most fiendishly difficult piano writing in the late-Romantic song literature.
For digital files of this recording/booklet or to interview Brigitte Fassbaender, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 615-465-3806.
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