Hidden Treasure is the title of an BIS CD featuring thirty-one unpublished songs by the lesser known Austrian composer Hans Gal, performed in this album by baritone Christian Immler accompanied by Helmut Deutsch.
The settings of poetry by Mörike, Hesse, Heine, Tagore, Demmel, and Walther von de Vogelweide offer the pairing of Immler and Deutsch the opportunity to mine for variety and contrast among songs that range from the quietly lyrical to the slyly humorous to the dramatic.
Gal’s compositional skills are unimpeachable even though the composer negated the value of these delightful miniatures time and again, dismissing them as negligible efforts written during the first two and a half decades of the 20th century.
On listening to the variety and quality of these songs one discerns hints of the influence of the Lieder of Hugo Wolf, whose works Gal helped curate and catalogue. But Gal’s gift for providing the singer with plenty of opportunities to spin a nice melodic line and giving the collaborative pianist rich through never obstructive accompaniments ranks this unjustly neglected composer with the finest Lieder composers of the early 20th century, Wolf included.
The BIS CD is accompanied by a nice booklet containing translations of the songs in three languages.
Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com
Published by ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He was born and grew up in Cuba. At the age of 17 he moved to the United States to study Drama at the University of Minnesota, and later Languages at L.A. City College, Music at the Juilliard School of Music, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received the Master's degree. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and contributed writings and reviews to Seen and Heard International (www.seenandheard-international.com ) and to this blog. He co-founded the award-winning New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he produced and staged twenty seasons of classical and contemporary theater, including fifty world premieres of plays that went on to have international and national productions on and off Broadway, including Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2002 and Tony Nomination 2003.) In 2006 he was presented with a citation from The Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for “trailblazing contributions to the arts in South Florida.”
View all posts by ALL ABOUT THE ARTS