WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): Das Gesicht Jesajas for Mixed Choir, Soloists and Orchestra, Op. 41 (Barbara Locher [soprano], Bernhard Hunziker [tenor], Peter Brechbüler [bass], Lucerne Academy Choir, Domkapelle Berlin; Alois Koch. April 12, 2000), Das Jahr for Mixed Choir, Soloists and Orchestra, Op. 62 (Maya Boog [soprano], Irène Friedli [alto], Rudolf Rosen [bass], Basel Madrigalists, Evangelische Singgemeinde Bern/Zürich, Knabenkantorei Luzern, Musikkollegium Winterthur; Koch. Sept. 2, 2012).
Catalogue Number: 01O050
Label: Musiques Suisses
Reference: MGB CD 6273
Description: Burkhard here takes his place among the significant Swiss oratorio composers of the 20th century alongside Honegger and Frank Martin. "The Face of Isaiah", from 1935, is, like Honegger's Cris du monde, a protest against the way the world was heading and it traces a movement from "Visions of Grief and Disaster" through "The mercy of God", "The downfall of the world", "Light in the darkness" and "Death and its overcoming" to a firstly ethereal and finally triumphant "Peace and a new earth" with all stops along the way benefitting from a vivid orchestral and choral apparatus founded in the Lutheran chorale tradition and in a style beginning in Reger and moving toward Hindemith. Das Jahr, from 1941, is a pantheistic reflection of the passing of the seasons with the growth-decay, light-darkness oppositions one expects from such a "nature oratorio" as Burkhard called it. Through-composed, part recitative, part arioso, the large orchestra is joined by a chamber chorus, three soloists and a boys' chorus at the climaxes in a work whose texts and music reflect the Swiss feeling of rootedness in the mountains and their majestic and terrible aspects. 2 CDs. German texts.