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Frank Martin: Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke [Import]

Frank Martin , Jac van Steen , Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur Audio CD

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1. Reiten
2. Der Kline Marquis
3. Jemand Erzahlt Von Seiner Mutter
4. Wachtfeuer
5. Das Heer
6. Ein Tag Durch Den Tross
7. Spork
8. Der Schrei
9. Der Brief
10. Das Schloss
11. Rast
12. Das Fest
13. Und Einer Steht
14. Bist Du Die Nacht
15. Hast Du Vergessen?
16. Die Turmstube
17. Im Vorsaal
18. War Ein Fenster Offen?
19. Ist Das Der Morgan?
20. Aber Die Fahne Ist Nicht Dabei
See all 23 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Master's underrated masterpiece Feb. 28 2008
By Ryan, Lord Butternut - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a masterpiece, nothing less. It is reminiscient of Mahler's orchestral lieder, though with more gentle textures and orchestration(small and chamberesque)--
There are so many wonderful moments in this piece, for those who enjoy lieder, orchestral songs, I couldnt recommend a disc more highly. Frank Martin, a swiss composer, is a neglected master mostly known for his Concerto for seven instruments, but much of his output is for voice and orchestra and basically all are of the first order but I consider this, along with Vin le herbe(tristan und isolde) his finest work over all. Most of the pieces are less than five minutes, but are all connected in quiltlike fashion.
To summarize, I consider this to be one of the finest orchestral lieder(this piece is specifically for contralto and orchestra--the singer here is marvelous and of perfect voice for the peice) of the 20th century, composed by a master craftsman. It is by turn dramatic, beautiful, fragile, and sorrowful.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance of a superb work Dec 8 2012
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Frank Martin's musical language was remarkably versatile, yet it retained something of a personal touch across the stylistic range, from late-romanticism through neo-classicism, mild modernism, and a very personal take on a twelve-tone technique. Die Weise von Lieve und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke is an ambitious song-cycle for contralto and orchestra based, obviously, on the epic poem by Rilke, and was originally intended as a song-cycle with piano accompaniment. Rilke's tale is itself rather remarkable, and one of the primary drawbacks of the present release is that, although we get the full texts, there is no translation - not even an English synopsis.

I hope that fact doesn't deter too many potential listeners, however, for even as a purely musical experience this is a deeply compelling affair; the music is wonderful, with a marvelous range of colors and textures, strange atmospheres, and gripping ideas. If you can follow the text, however, it would admittedly add another layer. Rilke's weird tale is captivating with its contrasts between simple enjoyments and rewards and dark angst and malice always lurking threateningly in the shadows, and Martin's music fit the story and its images superbly and magically.

The song-cycle consists of 23 richly contrasted and vivid images, to which Martin's musical language provides a perfect fit. I suppose the music notionally employs twelve-tone techniques, but Martin's idiosyncratic take on it means that the music sounds more like an impressionistically tinted version of late-romanticism - though a deeply original version. There are plenty of tonal centers and even tonal thematic material serving as a sort of foundation for the composer's inventive and imaginative colorations and figures, with a few central motifs that occur throughout. The scoring is in fact relatively economic (a small wind section, strings, harp, celesta, percussion, and piano), but the range of colors that Martin can conjure up with his resources almost beggars belief.

As for the performances, Christianne Stotijn deserves nothing but praise. Her contralto is rich and supple; she seems unfazed by the notorious technical challenges, and her characterizations are equally convincing throughout with a wide expressive range able to capture all of Martin's subtle moods and atmospheres. The Winterthur Music College Orchestra does not disappoint either - a few rough edges and some shaky textures apart, they provide very compelling and resourceful performances, and MDG's sound quality is splendid. I have heard no alternative version of this work, but it is definitely music that deserves wide circulation; the performances at hand fortunately do it justice. Strongly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous piece June 25 2014
By Customer Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I only knew a few pieces by Frank Martin before listening to this recording--the Requiem, of course, some of the other choral works, and the Quatre Sonnets a Cassandre. Der Cornet, like these other pieces, is a gem. Much of that is due to Rilke's amazing poetry--another revelation for me--but Martin's setting is the perfect accompaniment, neither smothering the economic delicacy of Rilke's powerful words nor functioning as "mere" accompaniment. The performance is wonderful.

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