lietofinelondon

Aria for … Saturday – Nacht und Träume

In Aria For ..., Classical Music on June 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

This piece I have not heard for a very long time. So long in fact that I had forgotten it as on my iPod.

But here wending my way home by train it seems to fit my mood.

This is not Schubert’s original lied by the orchestrated version by Max Reger, a lieder composer himself. Indeed composers as diverse as Britten, Brahms and even Webern orchestrated some of Franz’s songs as well. And this disc is well worth a listen.

It’s a gem of a song and Reger’s orchestration in no way undermines the beauty of Schubert’s original. In fact the subtlety of the orchestral – almost earthy – writing adds to the song’s beauty.

In some ways it is a song where nothing actually happens. The sustained vocal line drifts – like the subject matter – above the murmuring accompaniment.

But Schubert knew what he was doing. It is this very simplicity that makes this song so very effective. No note is wasted or extraneous to the mood he creates.

And here, Anne Sofie von Otter, with Abbado at the helm spins out the vocal line with great poise and beauty.

As I said, a real gem.

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