WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Umsungen for Baritone and Ensemble, PETER RUZICKA (b.1948): ...der der Gesänge zerschlug for Baritone and Ensemble.
Catalogue Number: 08M107
Label: Ars Musici
Description: Rihm's work sets texts by Nietzsche, assembled to form a new narrative. The first, and by far longest, song is an assemblage of fragments from Nietzsche's notebooks; there are five more, plus an agitated interlude for string quartet. The first is sung more or less conventionally, with a very early-20th century sense of late-late Romantic passion and melancholy; elements of sprechstimme and guttural vocalizations, more characteristic of the avant garde of the time the piece was written, appear in successive movements; however, as befits a work commissioned for Fischer-Dieskau, there is an emphasis on beauty of line and lyrical flexibility. Ruzicka sets late, dark poems by Paul Celan, pained, reflective and inward-looking. The music matches them in subdued, somber tones and agitated sotto voce scurryings and whisperings from the strings (also participating in important instrumental interludes, as in the Rihm), while the voice's expressive eloquence is used to the full in presenting these haunted texts. German texts. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Ensemble Modern; Ernest Bour.