Strauss • Berg • Schoenberg

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COMPOSERS: Richard Strauss; Alban Berg; Arnold Schoenberg
LABELS: Champs Hill Records
ALBUM TITLE: Strauss • Berg • Schoenberg
WORKS: Strauss: Acht Gedichte Aus ‘Letzte Blätter’; Berg: Sieben Frühe Lieder; Schoenberg: Brettl Lieder
PERFORMER: Katherine Broderick (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)


Here’s an irresistible recital of questing, late-Romantic songs from the young Richard Strauss and the young Berg and Schoenberg, who, writing as a century turned, embraced tradition while embarking on a brave new vision for the future.

Katherine Broderick has just the voice and temperament to express these subtle and exciting shifts between innocence and experience, tonality and atonality. A sense of tenderness and vulnerability tempers the high brilliance of her soprano, caressing each phrase of Strauss’s ‘Zueignung’ and ‘Allerseelen’. And her voice dances through ‘Nichts’, smiling and delightfully animated in her duetting with the sentient piano accompanying of Malcolm Martineau.

The Seven Early Songs of Berg see Broderick and Martineau creating a magical sense of tonal and poetic wandering, reaching high into the stratosphere for songs such as ‘Traumgekrönt’ and ‘Die Nachtigall’. And Broderick finds darker tones and timbres for a ‘Nacht’ of exquisite beauty.

For Schoenberg’s calculatedly popular Brettl-Lieder, Broderick becomes entertainer supreme, with knowing, vividly characterised and confiding performances of eight cabaret-tinted songs. There’s even a surprise burst of fife and drum for the final ‘Nachtwandler’.


Hilary Finch