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Helen Watts|Helen Watts – Lieder Recital

Helen Watts – Lieder Recital

Helen Watts, Geoffrey Parsons, Ernest Ansermet

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Language available : english


Presented on CD for the first time and newly remastered, a pair of Romantic Lieder recitals by the Welsh contralto who inherited the mantle of Kathleen Ferrier.


The history of British contraltos on record, stretches back to Constance Shacklock and before her Dame Clara Butt but it was Ferrier who defined the sound of that voice type for millions of listeners around the world. Produced as if from a great distance, noble and yet communicating the most profound and immediate of emotions, the possessors of a true contralto voice inspired Handel, Elgar and others to compose some of their most heartfelt arias.
It was with the music of Handel that the Welsh contralto, Helen Watts, made her debut on record: in performances of ‘Semele’ and ‘Sosarme’ recorded by L’Oiseau-Lyre, released in 1955 and reissued by Eloquence. Along with Alfred Deller and William Herbert, Watts counts among those British singers discovered by the founder of L’Oiseau-Lyre, Louise Hanson Dyer, in her search the young and talented musicians who could breathe new life into old and mostly unfamiliar music. Her career burgeoned, on disc and especially on the concert platform where she became the alto soloist of choice for countless performances of ‘Messiah’ and ‘The Dream of Gerontius’.
Watts was also an accomplished recitalist and her gifts in this area have often been overlooked. This release compiles the first two song recitals she recorded, in 1963 and 1964. In the world of Schumann’s ‘Frauenliebe und -Leben’ she enters intimately into each song’s shades of feeling and she brings a special passion to the three Mignon songs of Hugo Wolf. The earlier recital, couples more Schumann – notably the late and haunted ‘Five Songs of Mary Stuart’ – with favourite Lieder of Brahms such as ‘Ständchen’ and the Op. 91 pair with obbligato viola (Cecil Aronowitz). The anthology is completed with more Brahms, the Alto Rhapsody she recorded in Geneva with Ernest Ansermet in 1965: solemn, yet warm and deeply human, a perfect testament to her art and to the praise of her modern counterpart, Nathalie Stutzmann: ‘an extraordinary contralto’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)


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Helen Watts – Lieder Recital

Helen Watts

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Gedichte von J. W. von Goethe (Hugo Wolf)

1
5. Mignon I (Heiß mich nicht reden)
00:04:13

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

2
6. Mignon II (Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt)
00:02:51

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

3
7. Mignon III (So laß mich scheinen)
00:04:39

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

4
9. Mignon IV (Kennst du das Land)
00:07:30

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

Italienisches Liederbuch, nach Paul Heyse (Hugo Wolf)

5
1. Auch kleine Dinge
00:02:29

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

Sechs Lieder für eine Frauenstimme (Hugo Wolf)

6
6. Mausfallen-Sprüchlein (Mörike)
00:01:07

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

Gedichte von J. W. von Goethe (Hugo Wolf)

7
19. Epiphanias
00:04:17

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Hugo Wolf, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

Frauenliebe und -leben Op.42 (Robert Schumann)

8
1. Seit ich ihn gesehen
00:02:19

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

9
2. Er, der Herrlichste von allen
00:03:19

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

10
3. Ich kann's nicht fassen, nicht glauben
00:01:36

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

11
4. Du Ring an meinem Finger
00:02:34

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

12
5. Helft mir, ihr Schwestern
00:01:53

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

13
6. Süsser Freund, du blickest mich verwundert an
00:04:53

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

14
7. An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust
00:01:14

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

15
8. Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan
00:04:17

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1966 Decca Music Group Limited

Five Poems of Mary Stuart, Op.135 (Robert Schumann)

16
1. Abschied von Frankreich
00:01:57

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adelbert von Chamisso, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

17
2. Nach der Geburt ihres Sohnes
00:01:30

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Mary Stuart, Author - Gisbert Freiherr von Vincke, Translator

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

18
3. An die Königin Elisabeth
00:01:54

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Mary Stuart, Author - Gisbert Freiherr von Vincke, Translator

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

19
4. Abschied von der Welt
00:02:51

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Mary Stuart, Author - Gisbert Freiherr von Vincke, Translator

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

20
5. Gebet
00:01:45

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Mary Stuart, Author - Gisbert Freiherr von Vincke, Translator

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Lieder-Album für die Jugend, Op.79 (Robert Schumann)

21
23. Er ist's
00:01:26

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Eduard Mörike, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

22
13. Marienwürmchen
00:01:40

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - From "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" by Achim von Arnim & Bettina Brentano / von Arnim

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Liederkreis, Op.39 (Robert Schumann)

23
12. Frühlingsnacht
00:01:12

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Lieder-Album für die Jugend, Op.79 (Robert Schumann)

24
12. Der Sandmann
00:02:24

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Hermann Kletke, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Myrthen, op.25 (Robert Schumann)

25
1. Widmung
00:02:13

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Friedrich Rückert, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Ständchen, D. 920 (Franz Schubert)

26
Ständchen, D. 920
00:05:36

Helen Watts, Contralto - The Elizabethan Singers - Viola Tunnard, Piano - Louis Halsey, Conductor - Franz Schubert, Composer - Franz Grillparzer, Author - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer

℗ 1967 Decca Music Group Limited

Mädchenlied, Op.107, No.5 (Johannes Brahms)

27
Mädchenlied, Op.107, No.5
00:01:48

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Johannes Brahms, Composer

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Des Liebsten Schwur, Op.69, No.4 (Johannes Brahms)

28
Des Liebsten Schwur, Op.69, No.4
00:02:27

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Johannes Brahms, Composer - Josef Wenzig, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

5 Poems, Op. 19 (Johannes Brahms)

29
No. 4 Der Schmied
00:01:02

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Johannes Brahms, Composer

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Ständchen, Op. 14 No. 7 (Johannes Brahms)

30
Ständchen, Op. 14 No. 7
00:03:19

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Johannes Brahms, Composer

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Gestillte Sehnsucht, Op.91, No.1 (Johannes Brahms)

31
Gestillte Sehnsucht, Op.91, No.1
00:06:43

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Cecil Aronowitz, Viola - Johannes Brahms, Composer - Friedrich Rückert, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Geistliches Wiegenlied, Op. 91 No. 2 (Johannes Brahms)

32
Geistliches Wiegenlied, Op. 91 No. 2
00:06:11

Helen Watts, Contralto - Geoffrey Parsons, Piano - Cecil Aronowitz, Viola - Lope de Vega, Original Text Author - Emanuel Geibel, Author

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Rhapsody for Alto, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op. 53 (Johannes Brahms)

33
Rhapsody for Alto, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op. 53
00:13:18

Helen Watts, Contralto - Pro Arte Choir, Lausanne - Chœur de la Radio Suisse Romande - L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande - Ernest Ansermet, Conductor - Johannes Brahms, Composer - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Author - John Mordler, Recording Producer - James Lock, Balance Engineer

℗ 1967 Decca Music Group Limited

Album Description


Presented on CD for the first time and newly remastered, a pair of Romantic Lieder recitals by the Welsh contralto who inherited the mantle of Kathleen Ferrier.


The history of British contraltos on record, stretches back to Constance Shacklock and before her Dame Clara Butt but it was Ferrier who defined the sound of that voice type for millions of listeners around the world. Produced as if from a great distance, noble and yet communicating the most profound and immediate of emotions, the possessors of a true contralto voice inspired Handel, Elgar and others to compose some of their most heartfelt arias.
It was with the music of Handel that the Welsh contralto, Helen Watts, made her debut on record: in performances of ‘Semele’ and ‘Sosarme’ recorded by L’Oiseau-Lyre, released in 1955 and reissued by Eloquence. Along with Alfred Deller and William Herbert, Watts counts among those British singers discovered by the founder of L’Oiseau-Lyre, Louise Hanson Dyer, in her search the young and talented musicians who could breathe new life into old and mostly unfamiliar music. Her career burgeoned, on disc and especially on the concert platform where she became the alto soloist of choice for countless performances of ‘Messiah’ and ‘The Dream of Gerontius’.
Watts was also an accomplished recitalist and her gifts in this area have often been overlooked. This release compiles the first two song recitals she recorded, in 1963 and 1964. In the world of Schumann’s ‘Frauenliebe und -Leben’ she enters intimately into each song’s shades of feeling and she brings a special passion to the three Mignon songs of Hugo Wolf. The earlier recital, couples more Schumann – notably the late and haunted ‘Five Songs of Mary Stuart’ – with favourite Lieder of Brahms such as ‘Ständchen’ and the Op. 91 pair with obbligato viola (Cecil Aronowitz). The anthology is completed with more Brahms, the Alto Rhapsody she recorded in Geneva with Ernest Ansermet in 1965: solemn, yet warm and deeply human, a perfect testament to her art and to the praise of her modern counterpart, Nathalie Stutzmann: ‘an extraordinary contralto’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)


Details of original recording : Recordings: London, UK, 8–9 February 1963 (Brahms, Schumann: Lieder); Conway Hall, London, 18–19 September 1965 (Wolf, Schumann: Frauenliebe); Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, 31 October 1965 (Brahms: Alto Rhapsody); Kingsway Hall, London, UK, October 1966 (Schubert)

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