To celebrate the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss, record label TwoPianists Records, is bringing out a truly comprehensive edition of the complete works for voice and piano. The project is the brainchild of Brigitte Fassbaender who has selected singers and accompanists to suit the vast collection of songs. The launch date for the CD Box is the 11th June 2014, during the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The project enjoys the full support of the Richard Strauss Institute.
The Strauss oeuvre consist of 179 songs and 2 melodramas; the latter to be performed by Brigitte Fassbaender herself. The recording is taking place over the month of November 2013 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a picturesque town at the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Here, Strauss lived and composed the majority of his works for over a period of 40 years. The artists, including 13 singers and 5 accompanists, now breathes the same inspirational mountain air as Strauss himself, whilst recording the fine artworks of his inspired revelations. A complex schedule was necessary to neatly accommodate everyone involved and record over 9 hours of music; some of it rarely, if ever, heard before.
The day before the recording began, the last song “Herbstabend” arrived from a collection in Belgium. It has never been recorded, neither has “Aus der Kindheit”. Another novelty in Strauss’ output is the trumpet solo at the end of “Die heiligen drei Könige aus Morgenland”, as are the rarities “Alphorn” and “Stille Gang” with horn and violin.
The songs appear in chronological order on the CD, which makes for fascinating listening. Every Strauss lover will be intrigued by the composer’s musical development: from the first song composed at the age of 6 – his mother had to write in the text, because he could not – through to the song, “Malven”, – composed during the last year of his life when he was 84 years old.
This recording is, without doubt, unprecedented in its authenticity and is sure to be the established reference edition for many years to come.
The singers taking part in the project are:
The pianists joining the singers in this artistic venture are: