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Schmidt, Franz - Buch mit sieben siegeln, Das - Järvi, Kristjan (conductor)


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Seen by many as Franz Scmidt’s greatest work, Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln ambitiously sets one of the most challenging texts, the Book of Revelation, to music. In his programme notes for the first performance of Das Buch, he commented on the mammoth challenge of setting the entire Apocalypse to music and said his priority ‘was to bring the text into a form which retained everything important, wherever possible in the original wording, and yet reduce the immense dimensions of the work to a point where they could be grasped by ordinary human brains.’ The result is this magnificent oratorio, here performed by the Tonkünstler Orchestra and starring Dutch bass-baritone Robert Holl, who has almost become synonymous with the role it is so much his own.

Schmidt composed his oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln in 1935-7, when Schmidt’s health was quickly failing and with a particularly keen sense of his own mortality. The composition wittingly or unwittingly seems to tap into the feelings of the time, and his apocalyptic visions soon became realities. Written at a time when the opposite poles of contemporary music were represented by the internationally renowned music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Their pioneering styles seemed at the time to be mutually exclusive and left little room for those who did not obviously adhere to one camp or the other. Sadly Schmidt’s music seemed a highly conservative continuation of an outmoded romanticism, greatly influenced by his teachers Bruckner and Fuchs and his Hungarian origins. Today, with the benefit of hindsight, it is precisely Schmidt’s refusal to pander to modernistic trends that endows his distinctive contribution to twentieth-century music with a refreshing integrity and individuality and Das Buch is now justifiably seen, as one of the greatest epic works of the Twentieth Century.

Fakta
Artikelnummer CHSA5061
Streckkod 0095115506127
Utgivningsdatum 2008-03-10
Kategori Klassiskt
Skivbolag Chandos
Enhet SACD
Antal enheter 2
Utövare
Artister Järvi, Kristjan (conductor)
Kompositörer Schmidt, Franz
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