The first volume in a major new recording series, across which world-renowned singers will draw listeners, decade by decade, through a century of song from 1810 to 1910. Each volume presents a well-planned, varied programme, performed by household names; but overall the series also has a wider aim, building a comprehensive survey of song right through the nineteenth century and, in doing so, creating an invaluable teaching asset.
The opening volume, 1810-1820, includes songs from Austria, Bohemia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, with works by Franz Schubert, Fernando Sor, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Fabry-Garat, Sophie Gail, Václav Tomášek, Giovanni Battista Viotti, and Carl Maria von Weber. Part of the joy of the series is the mix of the familiar with the rare: as well as presenting music by the great Austrian-German composers, the repertoire also ventures further afield, and future volumes will also add music from middle Europe, Russia and Scandinavia.
The singers for this first volume include the distinguished Canadian tenor Michael Schade, sopranos Lorna Anderson and the young Spaniard Sylvia Schwartz, mezzo Dame Ann Murray and bass Florian Boesch, accompanied by the series’ creator, pianist Malcolm Martineau.
Looking ahead, the singers for volumes 2 & 3 include Sarah Connolly, John Mark Ainsley, Christina Gansch, Anush Hovhannisyan, Christopher Maltman and Angelika Kirchschlager; just as lesser composers are given their due, so too are some of the stars of the future – some making their recording débuts – who share the limelight with illustrious, global names.
Extensive presentation includes 72 page booklet with authoritative liner note in three languages by renowned song expert and series consultant Prof Susan Youens; full texts and translations are provided, together with artist and session photographs.