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Five Mutterlieder (before 1890)
Lieder auf den Tod eines Kindes, Op. 5 (before 1900)
Im Garten unter der Linde (1896) Das hungernde Kind (before 1900)

Überwunden (1897)
From Five Songs, Op. 3 (before 1900)
In alten Tagen, Op. 3, No. 1
Umsonst Op. 3, No. 5
Sommerfäden, Op. 2, No. 1 (before 1900)
Stimmen des Tages, Op. 2, No. 2 (before 1900)
Die Rosen und der Flieder (1894)
Ein Rosenblatt (before 1900)
Rosengruß (before 1900)
Rosentod (before 1900)
Ach, noch so jung (before 1900)
Unendliche Liebe (before 1900)
Spuk (before 1900)
Die Liebe als Recensentin (before 1900)
Wiegenliedchen (before 1900)
Zu späte Reue (before 1900)
Traum (before 1900)
Und wie mag die Liebe (1919)
Entführung (ca. 1909)
Das feurige Männlein (1915)

Hermine Haselbock, mezzo-soprano/ Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone/ Russell Ryan, piano

Bridge 9259 [71mins]

We were completely ignorant of the songs of Franz Schreker (1878-1934; pictured circa 1911) - do they ever feature in Wigmore Hall recitals?

I enjoyed meeting them here, though some are a bit "samey" and few seriously exciting. His operas were popular in pre-Nazi Germany, his star faded afterwards.

I liked Hermine Haselbock's rich mezzo voice and poise in the early Mutterlieder songs here; a more characteristic compositional voice only emerges in the few later ones. Schrecker's published lieder are not many and this recording was "musically supervised" by Christopher Hailey, Director of the Franz Schreker Foundation, who provides full notes which put them into perspective.

Reviews have been contradictory, one finding Haselbock "the real star" and Holzmair "tentative"; another thinks his "superb control and sympathetic interpretations wholly persuasive", whereas Hermine Haselböck shrieking renders more dramatic songs the "almost unlistenable"...

Especially memorable is Holzmair in the low, slow "Once a day will give" by the future suicide Edith Ronsperger, depicting the quiet of sleeping soundly in an open coffin with "on my forehead the small red wound"... I am inclined towards Sequenza 21's rounded assessment: "strong late-Romantic styled Lieder performed with lyrical and emotional conviction by Haselböck’s tender mezzo-soprano and Holzmair’s bright baritone".

Worth exploring, but you may need a magnifying glass for the texts and translations, not generally a problem with Bridge Records.

Peter Grahame Woolf