Schillings: Meergruss; Seemorgen; Glockenlieder; Prelude to Ingwelde (Act II); Prelude to Moloch (Act III)

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COMPOSERS: Schillings
LABELS: CPO
WORKS: Meergruss; Seemorgen; Glockenlieder; Prelude to Ingwelde (Act II); Prelude to Moloch (Act III)
PERFORMER: Robert Wörle (tenor)Berlin RSO/Stefan Soltesz
CATALOGUE NO: 999 404-2
The music of Max von Schillings (1868-1933) has suffered a fate similar to that of the ‘Entartete Musik’ generation, though because he stood on the opposite side of the ideological/racial divide. As an administrator, he had a direct hand in carrying out the Nazi’s cultural ‘ethnic cleansing’ at the Prussian Academy of Arts and as a composer had his otherwise apolitical music reinterpreted in a posthumous biography as being at the heart of nationalist revisionism. These facts have made dealing with his music difficult in the decades following the war, yet in the early years of the century, he was seen as a serious rival to Strauss, and his opera Mona Lisa placed him among the post-Romantic ‘progressivists’. Divorcing the work from the man, then, reveals an original musical mind, occasionally indebted to Strauss, it must be admitted, but an essential component in German musical developments after Wagner. The tone poems (two rampant seascapes), operatic preludes and the amazingly varied Glockenlieder song cycle here grow in stature on each hearing and are vibrantly performed by the Berlin orchestra; Wörle is a strong-voiced exponent of the songs. Matthew Rye

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