Aksel Schiøtz

The Complete Aksel Schiøtz Recordings, 1933-1946 [Box Set]

(CD - Danacord #451/60)

Review by

Here, all of the recordings of magnificent Danish tenor Aksel Schiøtz made between 1933 and 1946 -- 270 selections -- are offered in a single 10-disc box set. The musical compass offered herein, though weighted toward Scandinavian composers, is enormous, ranging from Schiøtz' groundbreaking 1945 recording with Gerald Moore of Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Mullerin to swinging, and ever so slightly silly, bits from Bernhard Christensen's jazz oratorio De 24 Timer (1934). Schiøtz had a tumor removed in 1946 that deprived him of the tenor part of his range, so the cutoff point for the set makes sense. The 10 discs in The Complete Aksel Schiøtz Recordings 1933-1946 are available separately; according to Danacord, they will remain that way. The decision to cut the price on the box set was made in response to the changing nature of the classical CD market, and to expand access to the artistry of Schiøtz to as wide an audience as possible.

The book inside the box runs to 338 pages, one of the thickest books for a boxed set we have yet encountered. Inside the book are the texts and translations to everything Schiøtz sings -- even the pop songs -- and a wealth of photographs and other information. The transfers of original 78rpm recordings, made by Andrew Walter at Abby Road Studios, are top drawer, and Schiøtz's singing is phenomenal -- "one in a million" as critic and archivist Tully Potter has put it. While the earlier, full-price incarnation of this set may not have moved to the top of the list of many vocal music fans' priorities owing to its price and the difficulty involved in obtaining a copy, Danacord has removed at least the first of these obstacles. This would be a terrific gift for enthusiasts of vocal music, though bear in mind -- to paraphrase Led Zeppelin -- it is a "whole lotta Schiøtz," and one will need to set aside some time to make the most positive use of its virtues.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56
1 03:27 Amazon
2 04:12 Amazon
3 04:52 Amazon
Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7)
4 03:46 Amazon
St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b)
5 07:24 Amazon
6 02:08 Amazon
7 01:41 Amazon
8 03:14 Amazon
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620
9 03:51 Amazon
Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588
10 03:25 Amazon
Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527
11 04:10 Amazon
12 04:18 Amazon
Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), opera, K. 384
13 02:47 Amazon
14 02:31 Amazon
Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio, H. 21/2
15 04:18 Amazon
Eugene Onegin, opera, Op. 24
16 04:36 Amazon
Faust, opera
17 04:30 Amazon
Work(s)
18 09:59 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Die schöne Müllerin, song cycle, for voice & piano, D. 795 (Op. 25)
1 02:45 Amazon
2 02:05 Amazon
3 01:25 Amazon
4 02:04 Amazon
5 02:36 Amazon
6 03:40 Amazon
7 02:49 Amazon
8 04:27 Amazon
9 03:36 Amazon
10 04:05 Amazon
11 02:26 Amazon
12 04:23 Amazon
13 02:21 Amazon
14 01:13 Amazon
15 01:31 Amazon
16 04:21 Amazon
17 02:06 Amazon
18 03:31 Amazon
19 03:45 Amazon
20 04:58 Amazon
21 01:13 Amazon
22 01:33 Amazon
23 02:53 Amazon
24 04:26 Amazon
25 04:57 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Dichterliebe, song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 48
1 01:15 Amazon
2 00:56 Amazon
3 00:33 Amazon
4 01:35 Amazon
5 00:55 Amazon
6 01:58 Amazon
7 01:47 Amazon
8 01:13 Amazon
9 01:16 Amazon
10 01:38 Amazon
11 00:53 Amazon
12 01:40 Amazon
13 01:59 Amazon
14 01:46 Amazon
15 02:28 Amazon
16 04:29 Amazon
17 03:30 Amazon
18 01:42 Amazon
19 01:36 Amazon
20 03:06 Amazon
21 02:50 Amazon
22 03:16 Amazon
23 03:00 Amazon
24 03:16 Amazon
25 03:13 Amazon
26 02:42 Amazon
27 03:03 Amazon
28 02:55 Amazon
29 08:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:32 Amazon
2 03:38 Amazon
3 02:50 Amazon
4 03:18 Amazon
5 03:02 Amazon
6 02:31 Amazon
7 01:32 Amazon
8 02:06 Amazon
9 03:58 Amazon
10 04:42 Amazon
11 04:04 Amazon
12 03:26 Amazon
13 03:24 Amazon
14 02:24 Amazon
15 02:45 Amazon
16 06:14 Amazon
Der var engang (Once upon a time), Op. 25
17 03:57 Amazon
18 04:01 Amazon
19 02:42 Amazon
Das Dreimäderlhaus, operetta
20 09:00 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:41 Amazon
2 03:01 Amazon
3 03:20 Amazon
4 02:58 Amazon
Frida's Bok
5 02:51 Amazon
6 02:49 Amazon
7 02:45 Amazon
8 02:37 Amazon
9 03:05 Amazon
10 02:51 Amazon
11 02:38 Amazon
12 03:22 Amazon
13 01:31 Amazon
14 01:55 Amazon
15 02:55 Amazon
16 03:45 Amazon
Sovedrikken (The Sleeping Draught), opera
17 02:30 Amazon
18 02:25 Amazon
19 03:21 Amazon
20 02:40 Amazon
21 03:02 Amazon
22 03:01 Amazon
23 02:37 Amazon
24 03:05 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:50 Amazon
2 03:27 Amazon
3 03:23 Amazon
4 03:03 Amazon
5 02:45 Amazon
6 02:22 Amazon
7 03:24 Amazon
8 03:07 Amazon
Liden Kirsten (Little Kirsten), Op. 44
9 05:48 Amazon
10 04:16 Amazon
Fire Middelalderviser (Four Medieval Ballads), for voice & piano
11 02:05 Amazon
12 01:50 Amazon
13 01:24 Amazon
14 01:42 Amazon
15 04:42 Amazon
16 03:08 Amazon
Elverskud (Elf-King's Daughter) for 3 voices, chorus & orchestra, Op.30
17 03:48 Amazon
18 03:14 Amazon
19 03:56 Amazon
20 01:32 Amazon
21 00:36 Amazon
22 01:28 Amazon
23 01:27 Amazon
24 01:43 Amazon
25 02:45 Amazon
26 02:47 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:20 Amazon
2 02:48 Amazon
3 02:30 Amazon
4 03:08 Amazon
5 01:54 Amazon
6 02:10 Amazon
7 02:45 Amazon
8 03:23 Amazon
9 02:28 Amazon
10 01:51 Amazon
11 03:18 Amazon
12 02:55 Amazon
13 03:30 Amazon
14 02:16 Amazon
15 02:50 Amazon
16 02:50 Amazon
17 02:11 Amazon
18 02:49 Amazon
Der var engang (Once upon a time), Op. 25
19 04:00 Amazon
20 03:43 Amazon
Renaissance, melodrama, Op. 59
21 03:30 Amazon
22 02:39 Amazon
23 03:10 Amazon
24 02:37 Amazon
25 02:54 Amazon
26 02:57 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 8

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:17 Amazon
2 02:57 Amazon
3 03:20 Amazon
4 02:50 Amazon
Sange fra Shakespeare (Songs from Shakespeare), for voice & piano
5 03:03 Amazon
6 02:10 Amazon
7 03:31 Amazon
Songs (4) from Björnstjerne's "Arne"
8 02:26 Amazon
9 03:09 Amazon
10 02:43 Amazon
11 03:14 Amazon
12 02:54 Amazon
13 03:16 Amazon
14 02:23 Amazon
15 02:54 Amazon
16 02:00 Amazon
17 02:27 Amazon
18 02:41 Amazon
19 02:26 Amazon
20 02:33 Amazon
21 03:18 Amazon
22 02:58 Amazon
23 02:25 Amazon
24 02:55 Amazon
25 03:09 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 9

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Dichterliebe, song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 48
1 01:21 Amazon
2 00:58 Amazon
3 00:36 Amazon
4 01:29 Amazon
5 00:56 Amazon
6 01:58 Amazon
7 01:47 Amazon
8 01:16 Amazon
9 01:15 Amazon
10 01:29 Amazon
11 00:51 Amazon
12 01:46 Amazon
13 01:59 Amazon
14 01:32 Amazon
15 02:25 Amazon
16 04:20 Amazon
17 01:14 Amazon
18 01:31 Amazon
19 02:54 Amazon
20 04:24 Amazon
21 05:03 Amazon
22 03:24 Amazon
23 03:30 Amazon
24 03:20 Amazon
25 04:34 Amazon
26 01:48 Amazon
27 02:32 Amazon
28 02:30 Amazon
Til de Faldne. Slumrer sødt i Slesvigs Jord (To the Fallen, Slumber soundly in Slesvig's earth), song for voice
29 01:54 Amazon
Danmarks Frihedssang: En vinter, lang og mørk og hård (Denmark's Freedom Song: A winter, long and dark and hard), song
30 01:13 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 10

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Farinelli, operetta
1 02:48 Amazon
2 03:20 Amazon
3 03:25 Amazon
4 03:08 Amazon
5 03:08 Amazon
6 03:29 Amazon
7 02:36 Amazon
8 03:06 Amazon
9 03:17 Amazon
10 03:15 Amazon
11 02:28 Amazon
12 03:00 Amazon
13 02:02 Amazon
The 24 hours (De 24 timer), jazz oratorio
14 04:26 Amazon
The School Upside Down (Skolen på ho'det), jazz oratorio
15 03:21 Amazon
16 06:01 Amazon
17 03:29 Amazon
18 03:19 Amazon
19 03:15 Amazon
20 02:54 Amazon
21 03:20 Amazon
22 03:03 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 11

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Moderen, incidental music, FS 94 (Op. 41)
1 01:53 Amazon
2 01:26 Amazon
3 02:58 Amazon
4 02:01 Amazon
Tove, incidental music, FS 43
5 03:12 Amazon
6 03:01 Amazon
7 03:14 Amazon
8 02:24 Amazon
9 01:37 Amazon
10 01:05 Amazon
Fynsk foraar (Springtime on Funen), for soloists, chorus & orchestra, FS 96 (Op. 42)
11 02:07 Amazon
12 02:59 Amazon
13 02:37 Amazon
14 02:16 Amazon
Willemoes, incidental music, FS 44
15 02:40 Amazon
16 03:17 Amazon
17 02:13 Amazon
18 03:38 Amazon
Moderen, incidental music, FS 94 (Op. 41)
19 03:39 Amazon
20 02:23 Amazon
21 03:35 Amazon
Fynsk foraar (Springtime on Funen), for soloists, chorus & orchestra, FS 96 (Op. 42)
22 02:10 Amazon
Maskarade (Masquerade), opera, FS 39
23 04:25 Amazon
24 02:06 Amazon
25 01:41 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick