Die Schöne Müllerin (2008)

Schubert

Christoph Prégardien, Michael Gees

The beautiful miller’s daughter – beautifully adorned?
The song cycle Die schöne Müllerin is Schubert’s first complete large-scale song cycle. It had been preceded by smaller cycles, for example the ‘Harfnerlieder’ from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister (1816) and Die Abendröte, on texts by Friedrich Schlegel (1819-23), a larger cycle that had remained incomplete (Schubert had only a few Lieder from this cycle published). These cycles lacked any narrative thread, so that the composer must have been lacking the epic momentum that would bind the single songs together. In this respect Wilhelm Müller’s Lieder suited the composer very well. The poems originated in a ‘Liederspiel’ (a play with songs) performed in the winter of 1816-17 among an intimate circle of friends in Berlin, to which, apart from the poet himself and his composer of that time Ludwig Berger, the painter Wilhelm Hensel belonged. (Hensel later married Mendelssohn’s sister.) In the years 1818-20 the poet extended and reworked his cycle, and he published it in 1821 in a collection of small volumes of poetry with the title ‘Sieben und siebzig Gedichte aus den hinterlassenen Papieren eines reisenden Waldhornisten’ (Seventy-Seven Poems from the Posthu- mous Papers of a Wayfaring Horn Player).

A ‘Liederspiel’ of this kind, in other words a series of poems that one could also present in performance, was what the composer was looking for. He set it to music in a year in which he was seriously ill: it appears that in October 1823, when he was starting work
on the songs, he was a patient in the Vienna general hospital. At the same time, however, he had also largely overcome an artistic crisis during which he had, over the course of some years, been searching for new paths. On 30 November 1823 Schubert wrote to his close friend Franz von Schober: “Since the opera [Fierabras] I have composed nothing except a few Müllerlieder. The Müllerlieder will appear in four volumes, with vignettes by Schwind. – For the rest, I hope to regain my good health, and this new-found benefit will help me forget all my suffering [...]”. These few lines are revealing: they show the close association between compositional work, illness and hope for healing, and that the expression “a few Müllerlieder” is not to be taken seriously, but rather as a topos of affected modesty. For Schubert was al- ready, while at work on the composition, thinking about the print layout: he had in mind a presentable edition with vignettes by his very close friend the artist Moritz von Schwind. This was to be something new and extraordinary: a large-scale song cycle. (As things turned out, the volumes appeared in a relatively modest format, without the vignettes, and in five instead of four volumes.) 

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Christoph Prégardien

Born 1956 in Limburg, Germany, Christoph Prégardien began his musical education as a choirboy. He then studied singing with Martin Gründler and Karlheinz Jarius in Frankfurt, Carla Castellani in Milan, Alois Treml in Stuttgart and attended Hartmut Höll’s lieder-class. 

Widely regarded as among the foremost lyric tenors, Christoph Prégardien frequently collaborates with conductors such as Barenboim, Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Luisi, Metzmacher, Nagano, Sawallisch and Thielemann. His repertory spans a wide range from the great Baroque, Classical and Romantic Oratorios to 20th century works by Britten, Killmayer, Rihm, Stravinsky. 

 

Recognized as an eminent recitalist, Christoph Prégardien is regularly welcomed at the major recital venues of Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna, Barcelona and Geneva, as well as during his concert tours throughout Italy, Japan and North America. 

Michael Gees

Born 1956 in Limburg, Germany, Christoph Prégardien began his musical education as a choirboy. He then studied singing with Martin Gründler and Karlheinz Jarius in Frankfurt, Carla Castellani in Milan, Alois Treml in Stuttgart and attended Hartmut Höll’s lieder-class. 
Widely regarded as among the foremost lyric tenors, Christoph Prégardien frequently collaborates with conductors such as Barenboim, Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Luisi, Metzmacher, Nagano, Sawallisch and Thielemann. His repertory spans a wide range from the great Baroque, Classical and Romantic Oratorios to 20th century works by Britten, Killmayer, Rihm, Stravinsky. 
Recognized as an eminent recitalist, Christoph Prégardien is regularly welcomed at the major recital venues of Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna, Barcelona and Geneva, as well as during his concert tours throughout Italy, Japan and North America. Chance leads him back to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he resumes his compositional studies and eventually graduates. He now develops first rate pianistic chops on his own, composes a number of works, gains international renown as lied accompanist of extraordinary proportions with Christoph Prégardien and also appears in concerts globally; in Paris, London, New York and Tokio. All the while, he nurses and feeds his preference for combining the performance of music of past masters with living inspiration, thereby creating remarkable performances with his instrument.

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Die Schöne Müllerin (2008)

Schubert

Christoph Prégardien, Michael Gees

    All Music

This is a sensitive reading of Die Schöne Mullerin demonstrating complete integration with the material. Challenge Classics' Die Schöne Mullerin with Christoph Prégardien and Michael Gees is a recording worthy of taking pride of place on the shelf alongside such "classic" versions as those by Richard Crooks, Aksel Schiøtz, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and is in considerably better recorded sound than any of them.

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Die Schöne Müllerin (2008)

Schubert

Christoph Prégardien, Michael Gees

Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: Galaxy Studios Belgium
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72292: Die Schöne Müllerin
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Tracks.
1.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Das Wandern
Schubert
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2.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Wohin?
Schubert
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3.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Halt!
Schubert
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4.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Dansagung an den Bach
Schubert
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5.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Am Feierabend
Schubert
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6.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Der Neugierige
Schubert
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7.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Ungeduld
Schubert
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8.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Morgengru?
Schubert
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9.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Des Mullers Blumen
Schubert
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10.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Tr_nenregen
Schubert
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11.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Mein!
Schubert
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12.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Pause
Schubert
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13.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Mit dem grunen Lautenbande
Schubert
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14.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Der J_ger
Schubert
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15.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Eifersucht und Stolz
Schubert
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16.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Die liebe Farbe
Schubert
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17.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Die bose Farbe
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18.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Trockne Blumen
Schubert
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19.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Der Muller und der Bach
Schubert
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20.
Die Schone Mullerin D 795, Op. 25- Des Baches Wiegenlied
Schubert
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