This 4-CD boxed set presents historic recordings of works by Arnold Schoenberg, the founding father of 20th-century modern music, and his most prominent pupils, Alban Berg and Anton Webern.
Richard Wagner, the most controversial figure the arts have ever seen, whose music can move and overwhelm like no other, continues to divide the spirits even today. The year 2013, when we celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, is inevitably going to be devoted to the man and his work.
The Complete Wagner Operas offers the best of Deutsche Grammophon, two operas each from Decca and the BBC and EMIs Rienzi.
This bizarre film by one of the most original directors now working in Germany is hermetic, expressionist, oblique, and of a creative perversity that bespeaks the presence of a genius. Purporting to deal with a real-life 19th century diva 'whose popularity was such that over-exertion led to her death while singing,' the film is actually a grisly series of frozen or tortured tableaux (predominantly lesbian in implication) of heavily rouged, frequently ugly women who, pretending to sing heavy opera, go through contorted, icy attempts at communication that lead nowhere. The lip-sync is off; the singing is off-pitch; mouths are frequently open while no sound issues forth, or closed, with mellifluous arias or cheap popular songs heard on scratchy renditions of old records.
In the autumn of 2005 Hyperion released their complete Schubert song edition, some 18 years after they started recording. The composition of these songs spanned the same number of years. Between Lebenstraum … gesang in c”, a fragment dating from 1810 when he was thirteen and Der Taubenpost written a few weeks before his death late in 1828, Schubert set over 700 texts, mostly solo songs but also part songs and for ensemble. Almost all were with piano accompaniment. Everything that has survived is included
Thirteen German directors present short films exploring the state of their country.