Uwe Schenker-Primus / Britta Stallmeister / Klaus Simon

Korngold: Songs, Vol. 1

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As a young Viennese composer who eagerly absorbed the musical ideas of his predecessors Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss, Erich Wolfgang Korngold naturally took an avid interest in writing songs, many of which reflected his models. This album by soprano Britta Stallmeister, baritone Uwe Schenker-Primus, and pianist Klaus Simon introduces a series by Naxos devoted to Korngold's songs and starts with youthful efforts in the genre. While these lyrical gems rarely pass three minutes in length and seem rather modest in their emotional range, each offering a single mood that is treated simply and directly, these songs have fascinating harmonic progressions and melodic details that are worthy of a mature master. Korngold's genius for surprising modulations and unexpected chords evoke Schubert's advanced harmonies, and his subtle use of chromatic shadings in major keys is quite suggestive of Mahler. The performances are warm and engaging, with Stallmeister featured in the first 17 tracks, while Schenker-Primus delivers the remaining 19; effectively, two recording sessions are presented, since each artist was recorded months apart. All the songs are sung in German, except for the Songs of the Clown and Vier Lieder, on texts by William Shakespeare, which are sung in English. Naxos' recording gives the singers prominent placement, though their voices are not too close-up, and the accompaniment is clear without dominating.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Drei Lieder (Three Songs), Op. 22
1 3:20 Amazon
2 2:17 Amazon
3 2:32 Amazon
Unvergänglichkeit (Immortality), Op. 27
4 2:16 Amazon
5 1:39 Amazon
6 1:56 Amazon
7 2:05 Amazon
8 2:47 Amazon
Songs of the Clown: Five Songs from Twelfth Night by Shakespeare, Op. 29
9 2:18 Amazon
10 2:06 Amazon
11 0:44 Amazon
12 0:51 Amazon
13 3:19 Amazon
Vier Lieder (Four Songs), Op. 31
14 3:01 Amazon
15 1:59 Amazon
16 2:21 Amazon
17 3:05 Amazon
Zwölf Lieder: So Gott und Papa will (Twelve Songs: If God and Father so wish), Op. 5
18 2:18 Amazon
19 2:30 Amazon
20 1:32 Amazon
21 1:30 Amazon
22 3:02 Amazon
23 1:21 Amazon
24 1:10 Amazon
25 2:51 Amazon
26 1:13 Amazon
27 1:46 Amazon
28 2:09 Amazon
29 1:18 Amazon
Sechs Einfache Lieder (Six Simple Songs), Op. 9
30 1:57 Amazon
31 2:58 Amazon
32 2:56 Amazon
33 1:59 Amazon
34 3:08 Amazon
35 1:24 Amazon
36 0:55 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick