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"Even little things can delight us, Even little things can be precious. " The first words of the first song in Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch are both manifesto and Credo. Wolf (1860 - 1903) felt keenly the sting of being labelled a Lieder-Komponist (song composer). He could recognize when composing his songs that "what I write now, I write for posterity too. " A passionate advocate of Wagner's music, he brought to song the tonal innovations of the world post-Bayreuth: "Wölferl's own howl," he dubbed his unique style. Wolf's textual source for his songbook was the Italienisches Liederbuch, published in Berlin in 1860 and containing translations by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914) of Italian folk poetry. He wrote the compositions during three working phases: Part I with 22 songs in autumn 1890 and in late 1891, Part II with 24 songs in spring 1896. Throughout the 46 pieces, we hear a man and a woman trace the chronicle of a love-affair, from initial ardor to rupture and ending. An encyclopedic panoply of the moods and faces of love ensues, complete with quarrels, mockery, nocturnal serenades, distress, masochism, suffering, rage, and finally, a parting of the ways. Wolf had a genius for the piano accompaniment regarding sensibility for the text and colorful, even illustrative composing: commenting, caricaturing, sometimes warm-hearted, sometimes quipping and full of humor. Pianist Frank-Immo Zichner uses this as multi-layered basis for Mirella Hagen and Tobias Berndt who vividly play their parts.
"Even little things can delight us, Even little things can be precious. " The first words of the first song in Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch are both manifesto and Credo. Wolf (1860 - 1903) felt keenly the sting of being labelled a Lieder-Komponist (song composer). He could recognize when composing his songs that "what I write now, I write for posterity too. " A passionate advocate of Wagner's music, he brought to song the tonal innovations of the world post-Bayreuth: "Wölferl's own howl," he dubbed his unique style. Wolf's textual source for his songbook was the Italienisches Liederbuch, published in Berlin in 1860 and containing translations by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914) of Italian folk poetry. He wrote the compositions during three working phases: Part I with 22 songs in autumn 1890 and in late 1891, Part II with 24 songs in spring 1896. Throughout the 46 pieces, we hear a man and a woman trace the chronicle of a love-affair, from initial ardor to rupture and ending. An encyclopedic panoply of the moods and faces of love ensues, complete with quarrels, mockery, nocturnal serenades, distress, masochism, suffering, rage, and finally, a parting of the ways. Wolf had a genius for the piano accompaniment regarding sensibility for the text and colorful, even illustrative composing: commenting, caricaturing, sometimes warm-hearted, sometimes quipping and full of humor. Pianist Frank-Immo Zichner uses this as multi-layered basis for Mirella Hagen and Tobias Berndt who vividly play their parts.
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"Even little things can delight us, Even little things can be precious. " The first words of the first song in Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch are both manifesto and Credo. Wolf (1860 - 1903) felt keenly the sting of being labelled a Lieder-Komponist (song composer). He could recognize when composing his songs that "what I write now, I write for posterity too. " A passionate advocate of Wagner's music, he brought to song the tonal innovations of the world post-Bayreuth: "Wölferl's own howl," he dubbed his unique style. Wolf's textual source for his songbook was the Italienisches Liederbuch, published in Berlin in 1860 and containing translations by Paul Heyse (1830 - 1914) of Italian folk poetry. He wrote the compositions during three working phases: Part I with 22 songs in autumn 1890 and in late 1891, Part II with 24 songs in spring 1896. Throughout the 46 pieces, we hear a man and a woman trace the chronicle of a love-affair, from initial ardor to rupture and ending. An encyclopedic panoply of the moods and faces of love ensues, complete with quarrels, mockery, nocturnal serenades, distress, masochism, suffering, rage, and finally, a parting of the ways. Wolf had a genius for the piano accompaniment regarding sensibility for the text and colorful, even illustrative composing: commenting, caricaturing, sometimes warm-hearted, sometimes quipping and full of humor. Pianist Frank-Immo Zichner uses this as multi-layered basis for Mirella Hagen and Tobias Berndt who vividly play their parts.
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