EISLER Lieder Vol 2

Author: 
Hugo Shirley
MDG613 2040-2. EISLER Lieder Vol 2EISLER Lieder Vol 2

EISLER Lieder Vol 2

  • Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe
  • Ardens sed virens
  • L’automne prussien
  • Bleib gesund mir, Krakau
  • Chanson allemande
  • Deutschland
  • Es sind die alten Weisen
  • Fausts Verzweiflung
  • Das ferne Lied
  • Die freie Wirtschaft
  • Genesung
  • Goethe-Fragment
  • Die Götter
  • Der Graben
  • Die haltbare Graugans
  • Heimatlied
  • Ideal und Wirklichkeit
  • Im Blumengarten
  • Im Frühling
  • Die Krücken
  • Legende von der Entstehung des Buches Taoteking
  • Linker Marsch
  • Motto: Auf einen chinesischen Theewurzellöwen
  • Mutterns Hände
  • Nationalhymne der DDR
  • Ostern ist Bal sur Seine
  • Die Pappel vom Karlsplatz
  • Der Pflaumenbaum
  • Der Priem
  • Printemps allemande
  • Rückkehr zur Natur
  • Und endlich
  • Und es sind finstere Zeiten
  • Und ich werde nicht mehr sehen
  • Verfehlte Liebe
  • Von der Freundlichkeit der Welt
  • Was ich dort gelebt
  • Wie der Wind weht
  • Wienerlied

The second volume of MDG’s survey of Hanns Eisler’s songs covers the period from after his return from American exile until his death in 1962. There are still echoes of those righteously angry, determined marches laced with bittersweet nostalgia and self-pity familiar from the outstanding first volume (8/17), but increasingly here we have a composer stepping away from his earlier political conviction. He had an uneasy relationship with the East German authorities after his return to Berlin, and it shows.

He tries out a broader stylistic range to fit a wider spectrum of poets, and there’s a greater sense of intimacy. Brecht, who dominated part one, is still present, but here we also have Goethe and Heine, Karl Kraus and Peter Altenberg. There are some of Eisler’s Neue deutsche Volsklieder, a much-debated project that set poems by the GDR grandee Johannes R Becher. We also have a selection of his 40 settings of poems by Kurt Tucholsky, including the delightful waltz of ‘Rückkehr zur Natur’, to which Holger Falk brings the same unsentimental intelligence and clear, beguiling tone that made the first volume such a success.

There’s an exquisite Goethe fragment, a touching Heine setting (‘Verfehlte Liebe’) as well as the remarkable 50-second-long ‘Fausts Verzweiflung’ (to a text by Giacomo Leopardi). If you need any persuading of either the quality of the music or that of the performances, try the disc’s final triptych: the delicate, wistful ‘Und Endlich’ (Altenberg), a witty ‘Wienerlied’ and the languidly doleful, gently heartbreaking ‘Bleib gesund mir, Krakau’, likely Eisler’s last song.

MDG’s presentation again misses a few tricks, with no translation of the German texts and little detail in the track-listings, but those are minor gripes. I enjoyed the first volume of the series enormously, and this disc proves a more than worthy successor.

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© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019