Freitag, 15. Juli 2022

Boris Blacher et al - Testimonies of War - Kriegszeugnisse 1914-1945

Boris Blacher was an important twentieth century cosmopolitan composer whose best works linger near the fringes of the standard repertory. The music from the first half of his career was tonal and largely approachable, though in the latter half he adopted serial techniques with less emphasis on atonality. He was quite versatile, composing operas, ballets, symphonies, various instrumental works and choral, chamber, film, and electronic music.

Although our century is littered with documents and records - notably of its tragedies - authentic testimonies remain priceless. Music, since Beethoven, has acquired a documentary significance all its own. From about 1910 onwards its forecasts have generally been as accurate as its reports. "Testimonies of War" was planned and first released in connexion with the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Without the example of Britten's "War Requiem", the nature of this double-CD might have been very different. Nevertheless they are essentially independent from that example: for they attempt, within a modest framework, to define in musical and textual terms certain links and coherences which are beyond the scope of any single work, however comprehensive. In the extensive and informative booklet which accompanies these CDs, the music and the composers are presented in their historical context.

Among the plethora of communicative projects inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Europe, the present collection deserves a special place. Apart from Blacher, this enthralling set contains further major discoveries including the brief but ineffably poignant "Fanfare for Those Who Will Not Return" by Harrington Shortall, and two previously unknown psalm setting by Berthold Goldschmidt dating from 1935, the year the composer fled from the Nazis. Such inspired programme planning, coupled with committed performances and outstanding liner notes, make this an urgent recommendation by any standards. (Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine)

A pair of stunning psalm settings, reminiscent of Bach's chorale preludes, composed in 1935 by the German-born Berthold Goldschmidt, who, at ninety-two, lives on today as witness to the outrage. (The New Yorker)

Kurt Weill's grimly penitential Choral-Fantasie is in the solemnly denunciatory language of the chorale in Mahagonny. To follow it with Vaughan Willams' radiant vision of Mr. Valiant- for-Truth's passing is deeply moving. Most listeners will hear this serene motet with the sounds of Harrington Shorta11's haunting "Fanfare for Those Who Will Not Return" and Blacher's remarkable Partita still ringing in their ears. An ideal way of presenting unfamiliar repertory. (Gramophone)


Disc: 1
  1. Boris Blacher : 
Alla Marcia (1934)
Berlin RSO / Noam Sheriff 
Boris Blacher : 
Scènes de danse ("la Vie") (1938)
LPO / Noam Sheriff
  2. Intrada 
  3. Pas De Deux 
  4. Scherzo 
  5. Rag-Caprice
  6. Valse, 'La Vie'
  7. Carnival
  8. Episodes
  9. Tango
10. Intermezzo
11. Theme and Var I (Rumba)
12. Var II (March)
13. Danzon
14. Envoi
Boris Blacher : 
Chiarina (1946)
Berlin RSO / Noam Sheriff
15. No.1 Promenade (Thema)
16. Var I
17. Var II
18. Var III
19. Var IV
20. Var V
21. Coda
22. No.2 Adagio
23. No.3 Rondo-Finale

Disc: 2
  1. Harrington Shortall : 
Fanfare for Those Who Will Not Return (1942)
The Wallace Collection
Boris Blacher : 
Partita pour cordes et 6 percussions (1945)
Poznan PO / Andrej Borejko
  2. Allegro
  3. Partita: Andante Con Moto
  4. Partita: Vivace Molto
  5. Kurt Weill : 
Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen, pour choeur d'hommes (1929)
BCC Sym Chor / Stephen Jackson
Berthold Goldschmidt : 
Zwei Psalmen, pour ténor et cordes (1935)
Endrik Wottrich
  6. Psalm 120 'Ich Rufe Zu Dem Herrn In Meiner Not' 
  7. Psalm 124 'Wo Der Herr Nicht Bei Uns Ware'
Boris Blacher : 
Deuxième Sonatine pour piano (1940)
Sylvie Lechevalier
  8. Moderato
  9. Allegro
10. Darius Milhaud : 
Choral pour piano op111 (1941)
Sylvie Lechevalier
Boris Blacher : 
Drei Psalmen, pour baryton et piano (1943)
Michael Kraus / Walter Moore
11. Psalm 142 'Ich Schreie Zum Herrn Mit Meiner Stimme'
12. Psalm 141 'Herr, Ich Rufe Zu Dir; Eile Zu Mir'
13. Psalm 121 'Ich Hebe Meine Augen Auf Zu Den Bergen' 
14. Kurt Weill : 
Choral-Fantasie "Herr Gott dein Zorn tu von uns wenden" pour orchestre à cordes, trois vents et choeur d'hommes (1922)
Poznan PO/Andrej Borejko
15. Ralph Vaughan Williams : 
Valiant-for-Truth, pour choeur mixte (1940)
BBC Sym Chor / Stephen Jackson

Boris Blacher et al. - Testimonies of War - Kriegszeugnisse 1914 - 1945
(320 kbps, cover art included)

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