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Robert Schumann – Scenen aus Goethes Faust, WoO 3 – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2009) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Robert Schumann – Scenen aus Goethes Faust, WoO 3 – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2009)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:57:48 minutes | 1,85 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | © RCO Live
Recorded live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 18, 20, 21, 23 and 24 April 2008

In April 2008 Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra executed a series of performances of Schumann’s rarely heard masterpiece Szenen aus Goethes Faust.These successful performances were recorded live and edited into the release that you have before you. Nikolaus Harnoncourt made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1975, where his St John and St Matthew Passions opened a whole new chapter in the Amsterdam tradition of performing these works. With the RCO, he directed a number of impressive opera productions, including the Mozart operas by librettist Da Ponte and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, and a great number of symphonic concerts, including symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Dvorák. Much of the repertoire Harnoncourt conducted with the Concertgebouw Orchestra has been recorded and has also received many awards. He was made a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion in 2006. Nikolaus Harnoncourt was appointed honorary guest conductor in October 2000.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt on Schumann’s Faust-Szenen :: ‘When I think of Schumann, I picture him at the cafe in Dresden where he would meet Wagner and Mendelssohn every week. They were about the same age, and all three were from Saxony. Luckily for Wagner’s reputation, both the others died young; had they lived longer, simultaneously with Wagner, music history would have been very different indeed. I consider Schumann the greatest genius of the three – Wagner’s genius was not primarily musical, but theatrical. Except for Genoveva, Schumann wrote no operas. He did compose a number of half-oratorio works, including the Faust-Szenen. But it’s not an opera, and I believe it should never be staged. As far as what an oratorio actually is – whether it’s spiritual or secular – listeners should make up their own minds and not have someone else’s view forced on them.’

‘Schumann wanted to focus on one specific aspect of Faust – Verklärung (redemption or glorification) and chose the scenes he set based on that aim. And he didn’t change a single word of the text he set. Each is Goethe’s own.’
‘Schumann was definitely a pessimist. In terms of psychological approach, he’s a kind of brother to Freud. One of the things that make Faust so incredible is Schumann’s ability to select precisely those scenes from such a huge drama which illustrate that one aspect of redemption. In music, there are two or three famous sunrises – in Die Schöpfung (The Creation) and Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons) by Haydn, and in Schumann’s Faust-Szenen: Faust finds himself in a deep cavern. Day breaks, and Faust awakens to see how the sun shines upon the highest mountain tops. He himself still lies in darkness. Once the sunlight reaches him, he says, ‘So bleibe denn die Sonne mir im Rücken!’ (So let the sun remain behind me!) because his eyes cannot bear the light. I think this sunrise with its oscillating changes of colour is one of the most beautiful moments in the history of music.’

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Scenen aus Goethes Faust, WoO 3 (1844-53)
1. Ouvertüre 08:17
Part I: I. Szene im Garten
2. Du kantest mich, o kleiner Engel, wieder 05:07
Part I: II. Gretchen vor dem Bild der Mater Dolorosa
3. Ach neige, Du Schmerzensreiche 04:40
Part I: III. Szene im Dom
4. Wie anders, Gretchen, war dir’s 07:15
Part II: IV. Sonnenaufgang
5. Die ihr dies Haupt umschwebt im luft’gen Kreise 07:26
6. Taler grünen, Hügel schwellen 04:03
7. Des Lebens Pulse schlagen frisch-lebendig 04:08
8. So ist es also, wenn ein sehnend Hoffen 04:11
Part II: V. Mitternacht
9. Ich heisse der Mangel 02:12
10. Vier sah ich kommen, drei nur gehn 08:59
11. Die Nacht scheint tiefer tief hereinzudringen 02:32
Part II: VI. Fausts Tod
12. Herbei, herbei! Herein, herein! 13:57
Part III: VII. Fausts Verklärung
13. Waldung, sie schwankt heran 03:35
14. Ewiger Wonnebrand 01:45
15. Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füssen 03:10
16. Welch ein Morgenwölkchen schwebet 03:03
17. Gerettet ist das edle Glied 06:33
18. Gerettet ist das edle Glied 03:57
19. Hier ist die Aussicht frei 05:02
20. Dir, der Unberührbaren 09:01
21. Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis 09:25

Christian Gerhaher, baritone
Christiane Iven, soprano
Alastair Miles, bass
Werner Güra, tenor
Mojca Erdmann, soprano
Birgit Remmert, alto
Elisabeth von Magnus, alto
Franz-Josef Selig, bass
Anitra Jellema, soprano
Anjolet Rotteveel, alto
Kevin Doss, tenor (chorus soloists)
Netherlands Radio Choir
Netherlands Children’s Choir
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor


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