Aribert Reimann [born 1936]

Composer: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (b. 1809 - d. 1847)
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Composer: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (b. 1809 - d. 1847)

Performance date: 06/07/2016

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1936

Duration: 00:26:33

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: T-solo, pf

Instrumentation Category:Small Mixed Ensemble

Instrumentation Other: S-solo, 2vn, va, vc

Artists: Carolyn Sampson - [soprano]
Kelemen Quartet (Barnabás Kelemen, Gábor Homoki [violins], Katalin Kokas [viola], Dóra Kokas [cello]) - [quartet]

For
obvious practical and historical reasons the Lieder repertoire has been
overwhelmingly dominated by the partnership between voice and piano. What one
might loosely call vocal chamber music, where other instruments are involved,
is comparatively rare except in France. More recently contemporary composers
have begun to transcribe classical works, a prominent example being Hans
Zender’s composed interpretation of Winterreise
that replaces the piano with a small orchestra. Purists tend to be
scornful, but Zender’s approach has provided another way into this wonderful
music for those who are put off by the traditional format of Lieder. The
other  reverse arrangements are of course
the reduction of orchestral song cycles like Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde to chamber music proportions. In the days
before recordings this enabled wider
circulation of new works that otherwise depended on access to a symphony hall
and a symphony orchestra. Nowadays with conservatories world-wide producing
enormous numbers of highly skilled musicians and orchestral opportunities
shrinking as orchestras come under increasing financial pressure, there is a
vast array of chamber ensembles seeking out every conceivable chamber
combination.

Reimann’s
arrangements of familiar Mendelssohn/Heine Lieder enable this group of songs to
be presented as a continuous cycle. Although there is no clear narrative
thread, the selected songs work well as a cycle about romantic love in much the
same way as Schumann’s great cycles. Each song provides a vivid vignette from a
series of incomplete love-stories. A journey is hinted at, dreams and
nightmares are recounted, mountains are climbed and seas are crossed, many
tears are shed and there is the classic Mendelssohnian vision of elves in the
moonlight. The songs are through-composed without a break and are linked by six
Intermezzi for the quartet, six reflections in Reimann’s own idiom. Reimann
goes from simple transcription, via variation to a new composition, bringing
these familiar