Favorite work of October 2019
Every month a member of the Carus team, editor or colleague introduces
one of their favorite works, whether it be a choral piece, a CD, a song
book, or an organ work. The contribution for October 2019 comes Cornelius
Hugo Wolf: Verborgenheit in a version for choir SSATB
The question about a favorite song of the month is a tricky one! Is it "Denn er hat seinen Engeln" (For He shall give His angels charge over thee) by Mendelssohn with Frieder Bernius and the Kammerchor Stuttgart? Or "Der Mond ist aufgegangen" from the LIEDERPROJEKT with Christoph Prégardien? Or possibly a song with the Calmus Ensemble? Or this or that?
Well, I’ve decided. A few weeks ago I heard the CD "Kennst Du das Land..." for the first time, sung by a fresh, young chamber choir called figure humaine from Stuttgart conducted by Denis Rouger. I had also heard this choir in Stuttgart on Good Friday this year performing one of my favorite songs, "Cantique de Jean Racine" by Gabriel Fauré. Marvellous! And now I have here a CD with nine songs by Fauré, and other songs by Duparc, Gounod, Debussy, Hensel, Cornelius, Schumann, and Wolf.
The big surprise – Hugo Wolf’s song "Verborgenheit"! Although it is from his "Mörike Lieder" song cycle for baritone and piano, it is sung here by 5-part choir in an arrangement by the conductor Denis Rouger, sensitively accompanied on the piano by Katharina Schlenker. I have a slight suspicion that I like this choral version almost better than the solo song. And I have already found myself beginning to hum along with it. I am also guilty of this in some of the songs by Fauré ("Lydia", "Après un rêve") and Debussy ("Beau soir", "Romance"). But silence and attentive listening are called for in order to enjoy the magnificent richness of color and filigree dynamics of a choir with a truly pure sound.
And a wry smile crosses my face when I hear the vocal soloist Hannah Gries (soprano), with whose mother Alison Browner (mezzo-soprano) I have sung in many concerts, and when I hear the second pianist on the CD, Julia Kammerlander, whose father Karl-Peter Kammerlander has been my piano accompanist in many recitals. Then Julia and Hannah were still in the cradle, where they absorbed their musical talents.
So, I will end there. And I will
put the CD on once more and allow myself to be transported by the heavenly
sounds into a dream world. Without humming.
Cornelius Hauptmann has a busy international career as a concert and opera singer. His special love is German lieder. He initiated the LIEDERPROJEKT, a charitable project to support singing with children, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.