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Liszt: Christus / Rilling, Bonde-Hansen, Vermillion, et al

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Christus, S 3
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Christus is essentially a contemplative work and so could really be said to exist in a different timescale to most music. Much of the opening part, the 'Christmas Oratorio', uses very simple melody and harmony, and is studiously undramatic. Helmuth Rilling does well not to charge it with too much colour, and, if listened to as meditation rather than drama, what can seem static takes on a positive atmosphere as a group of long reflections on the Christmas events. This is a far cry from the sensational Liszt of the early virtuoso years, not yet reaching the terse, inward pieces of the last years. There's greater drama in the middle part, 'After Epiphany', especially in the superb scene of Christ walking on the water. Although there's still the suggestion that a wonder is being contemplated, Liszt stirs up a terrific storm. This part also includes the beautiful setting of the Beatitudes, sung by Andreas Schmidt with a degree of uncertainty which he entirely sheds when he comes to pronounce the sentences in Part 3 ('Passion and Resurrection') for the scene of the Agony in the Garden. The long Stabat mater is beautifully controlled by Rilling. His soloists support him well.

The recording does excellent justice to Liszt's wide-ranging orchestration.


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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Christus, S 3
  • Performers: Henriette Bonde-Hansen (Soprano); Michael Schade (Tenor); Andreas Schmidt (Baritone); Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Helmuth Rilling
  • Ensemble: Cracow Chamber Choir
  • Running Time: 161 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1862-1867
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio