COMPOSERS: Berg; Ogermann; Mahler
LABELS: Arts Archives
ALBUM TITLE: Brigitte Fassbaender
WORKS: Vier Lieder; Tagore Lieder; Des Knaben Wunderhorn
PERFORMER: Brigitte Fassbaender, John Wustmann
CATALOGUE NO: 53028-2
The unique selling point of this 1986 archive recital from Brigitte Fassbaender in New York has to be the presence of a rarely performed cycle of songs to the verse of Rabindranath Tagore by one Claus Ogermann, the pianist and composer who made arrangements for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, and who, in turn, has been championed by Glenn Gould, Gidon Kremer – and Fassbaender herself.
Here Fassbaender brings her characteristic fervent energy and highly sentient intelligence to these free, often semi-declamatory settings, their piano writing fusing the evocation of both physical and emotional landscape in a nicely spacious recording acoustic.
Framing the cycle are dark, ardent performances of Berg’s four Op. 2 songs, heavy with dream and Symbolist angst; and Mahler’s Wunderhorn folksongs, as only Fassbaender can recreate them: lusty, larger than life and brimming with attitude and, finally, anguished pain.
John Wustmann accompanies Fassbaender throughout with clarity and perception. Hilary Finch