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WEBERN: Complete Songs with Piano


Svetlana Savenko & Yuri Polubelov

Naxos 8.570219 [TT : 80 mins]

- - Webern continued to write songs throughout his life. It is thus possible to follow his development as a composer, from early traditional more...

I am delaying trying to review this pleasant CD until the problem of access to the texts at naxos libretti/570219 is resolved.

It sounds good, but without them it is an unsatisfactory release, not to be recommended even at Naxos's bargain price.


SCHOENBERG: Pierrot Lunaire / Chamber Symphony No. 1 / 4 Orchestral Songs / Herzgewachse Cond. Robert Craft

Naxos 8.557523

A parallel release of Schoenberg's vocal works and the 1st Chamber Symphony can only be recommended to German speakers, because the texts online at http://www.naxos.com/sungtext/PDF/557523_Schoenberg_Texts.pdf are only in German.

I was particularly impressed by Eileen Hulse's magical coloratura in the rare Herzgewachse, with celeste harmonium and harp, and Anja Silja sounds splendid in Pierrot Lunaire, so far as a "mainly amateur enthusiast" (sic) can judge. Translations of Pierrot Lunaire can be found on Emily Ezust's indispenible site, at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=19359

The Chamber Symphony is given a lucid performance, though not without the congestion of textures in this score which are hard to clarify. There are many competitors on CD. Gramofile reviews some twenty versions, a few of them now deleted, and I do not think this one would be anyone's first choice?