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Doris Schade|Perséphone (Igor Stravinski)

Perséphone (Igor Stravinski)

Igor Stravinski

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Perséphone remains one of Stravinsky's most obscure works. It's a hybrid form in the way Oedipus Rex is: in this case the elements include melodrama (music accompanying spoken text), ballet, and singers: a tenor soloist, chorus, and children's choir. It's not such a leap for listeners accustomed to the bizarre juxtapositions of Oedipus Rex to the even stranger combination of styles in Perséphone. This recording, taken from a live 1960 performance in Frankfurt, is released for the first time on Audite. The sound is obviously dated, but it is vibrant and clean, with a dramatically charged ambience. The work is performed in German, rather than in the original French of André Gide, but that doesn't seem to have diminished its impact. Fritz Wunderlich is most often associated with Mozart and Viennese operetta, but he was committed to 20th century music and dove with enthusiasm into contemporary repertoire. It's thrilling to hear a singer with a ringing, heroic voice of such inherent beauty and with such mastery of characterization tackle this often spiky material. Perséphone might have a higher reputation in the composer's canon if it received more performances like Wunderlich's. Actress Doris Schade is entirely convincing as the protagonist, conveying both her youthful impetuous enthusiasm and her womanly compassion. American conductor Dean Dixon draws precise and emotionally potent performances from Hessischen Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra and a number of German choirs. The musicality and sheer visceral drama of this performance probably make it the best recorded introduction to this rarity. It should be of special interest to the composer's fan's who don't know the piece or have had lukewarm reactions to other recorded versions.
© TiVo

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Perséphone (Igor Stravinski)

Doris Schade

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1
The Abduction of Persephone
Schwanheimer Children's Choir
00:10:43

Doris Schade, voice - Fritz Wunderlich, tenor - Stuttgart Choir of the South German Broadcast - Dean Dixon, Conductor - South German Radio Choir - Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra - Hessen Radio Choir - Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra - Schwanheimer Children's Choir

2
Persephone in the Underworld
Schwanheimer Children's Choir
00:23:12

Doris Schade, voice - Fritz Wunderlich, tenor - Stuttgart Choir of the South German Broadcast - Dean Dixon, Conductor - South German Radio Choir - Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra - Hessen Radio Choir - Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra - Schwanheimer Children's Choir

3
Persephone Reborn
Hessen Radio Choir
00:14:39

Doris Schade, voice - Fritz Wunderlich, tenor - Stuttgart Choir of the South German Broadcast - Dean Dixon, Conductor - South German Radio Choir - Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra - Hessen Radio Choir - Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra - Schwanheimer Children's Choir

Albumbeschreibung

Perséphone remains one of Stravinsky's most obscure works. It's a hybrid form in the way Oedipus Rex is: in this case the elements include melodrama (music accompanying spoken text), ballet, and singers: a tenor soloist, chorus, and children's choir. It's not such a leap for listeners accustomed to the bizarre juxtapositions of Oedipus Rex to the even stranger combination of styles in Perséphone. This recording, taken from a live 1960 performance in Frankfurt, is released for the first time on Audite. The sound is obviously dated, but it is vibrant and clean, with a dramatically charged ambience. The work is performed in German, rather than in the original French of André Gide, but that doesn't seem to have diminished its impact. Fritz Wunderlich is most often associated with Mozart and Viennese operetta, but he was committed to 20th century music and dove with enthusiasm into contemporary repertoire. It's thrilling to hear a singer with a ringing, heroic voice of such inherent beauty and with such mastery of characterization tackle this often spiky material. Perséphone might have a higher reputation in the composer's canon if it received more performances like Wunderlich's. Actress Doris Schade is entirely convincing as the protagonist, conveying both her youthful impetuous enthusiasm and her womanly compassion. American conductor Dean Dixon draws precise and emotionally potent performances from Hessischen Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra and a number of German choirs. The musicality and sheer visceral drama of this performance probably make it the best recorded introduction to this rarity. It should be of special interest to the composer's fan's who don't know the piece or have had lukewarm reactions to other recorded versions.
© TiVo

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