Loewe: Lieder and Ballads

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ALBUM TITLE: Loewe – Lieder & Ballads Vol 19
WORKS: Lieder and Ballads
PERFORMER: Ingeborg Danz, Cord Garben
CATALOGUE NO: 999 906-2
Carl Loewe’s distinctive contribution


to the German Lied repertoire is

valuable above all for his attention

to the ballad – regularly substantial

narratives often derived from

folk tales. This genre in which he

excelled is represented here by such

items as ‘Der Weichdorn’, a legend

by Rückert connecting Mary, the

Christ-child and the thorn-bush.

There are also smaller songs in the

more central Lied tradition. An

intriguing aspect of his work is

the interest he took in the poetic

products of foreign cultures – here

Arab scenes are frequently evoked,

and there’s a whole cycle derived

from Serbian folk sources.

These elements usually prompt

Loewe to pleasant musical excursions

beyond his native borders, with

pianistic harmonies and figurations

tracing the distinctive contours of

other traditions. One limitation

of the present performances is that

these elements are, if anything,

played down rather than highlighted.

Elsewhere Cord Garben proves a

neat and sympathetic accompanist

to a highly musical singer whose

limitations are mostly in the textual

or dramatic field. Her attention to

words is variable, and when two

characters are involved in a dialogue

she rarely comes up with more

than one voice. Intimate, immediate


sound. George Hall