Trennung - Songs of Separation / Sampson, Bezuidenhout

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In the early 19th century, while Haydn and Mozart remained revered, many of their once admired contemporaries quickly fell into oblivion and with them much delightful, finely crafted music. In a recital centered on songs of parting, Carolyn Sampson and Kristian Bezuidenhout seek to make some amends to this. They open with August Bernhard Valentin Herbing's Montan und Lalage, a miniature opera for one singer, with the keyboard-as-orchestra providing the scenery and stage action. Giving Bezuidenhout's fortepiano the recognition it deserves, the program also includes no less than two songs dedicated to the instrument, by composers we rarely hear of today: Friedrich Gottlob Fleischer and Christian Michael Wolff. But even though Mozart and Haydn are still household names, it isn’t on account of their solo songs, which makes the performers’ decision to also throw light on their less familiar work a welcome one. The program features four songs each by them, including Mozart’s Lied der Trennung (Song of Parting), which has lent its name to the entire program, as well as Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos, a dramatic cantata in which the Cretan princess Ariadne expresses her love of the Greek hero Theseus … and her agony when he sails off, leaving her alone on the island of Naxos.


This a program cleverly designed, as they so often are today. The theme is separation, but the opening extensive song is by August Bernhard Valentin Herbing, a long narrative to be balanced by Joseph Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos at the other end. In between are other songs by composers both familiar and not: 4 by Mozart, 3 other ones by Haydn, interspersed with 2 by Friedrich Gottlob Fleischer and one by Christian Michael Wolff. It should be noted that the Haydn songs, apart from Arianna, aren’t from his late English settings, but are German-language pieces written a couple of decades earlier. Sampson is a “known quantity”, a pure and well-controlled soprano whose home is more or less exactly where she is here: late 18th- and early 19th Century lieder. Bezuidenhout (on loan to BIS from Harmonia Mundi) is a firstclass fortepianist, quite capable of pushing his instrument past its reasonable limits, as he does at the end of Arianna.

-- American Record Guide

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 04, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BIS-2623

  • UPC: 7318599926230

  • Label: BIS

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Classical

  • Composer: August Bernhard Valentin Herbing, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Friedrich Gottlob Fleischer, Christian Michael Wolff, Franz Joseph Haydn

  • Performer: Carolyn Sampson, Kristian Bezuidenhout