Jan Theobald Held (1770 - 1851) - Six Rustic Songs 8:29 (WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING)
1 1. Sekáč 0:54
2 2. Andulka 1:11
3 3. Růžička 1:20
4 4. Andulka 2:07
5 5. Honzíček 1:51
6 6. Jablíčka 1:00
Antonín Dvořák (1841 - 1904) - Love Songs, Op. 83 18:56
7 1. Ó, naší lásce nekvete to vytoužené štěstí 2:24
8 2. V tak mnohém srdci mrtvo jest 2:53
9 3. Kol domu se teď potácím 1:15
10 4. Já vím, že v sladké naději 3:23
11 5. Nad krajem vévodí lehký spánek 1:28
12 6. Zde v lese u potoka já stojím sám 2:50
13 7. V sladké moci očí tvých 2:29
14 8. Ó, duše drahá, jedinká 2:01
Alban Berg (1890 - 1959) - Sieben frühe Lieder 8:33
15 1. Nacht 3:42
16 2. Schilflied 1:41
17 3. Die Nachtigal 1:59
18 4. Traumgekrönt 2:23
19 5. Im Zimmer 1:17
20 6. Liebesode 1:30
21 7. Sommertage 1:32
Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949) - Song Selection 17:02
22 1. Allerseelen, Op. 10 Nr. 8 3:17
23 2. Breit' über mein Haupt, Op. 19 Nr. 2 1:36
24 3. Ich trage meine Minne, Op. 32, Nr. 1 2:38
25 4. Nacht, Op. 10 Nr. 3 2:49
26 5. Schlagende Herzen, Op. 29 Nr. 2 2:29
27 6. Seitdem dein Aug', Op. 17 Nr. 1 2:13
28 7. Zueignung, Op. 10 Nr. 1 1:49
29. Hugo Wolf (1864 - 1949) - Elfenlied 1:52
total time 62:26
Stereo digital live recording, 24.10.1993, Rudolfinum, Prague.
Jiřina Marková soprano, Mikael Eliasen piano
Jiřina Marková started to study at first dancing and piano. She continued to study singing and graduated at the Prague Conservatory of Music under Professor Z. Jankovský (1979). She improved her abilities during short-time stays in Germany (Bayreuth) and in Italy (Siena). Successful participation in several singing competitions brought about her direct way to the Prague National Theatre Opera where she has been engaged as soloist since 1979. A melodious soprano voice, which is now changing from lyrical to dramatical domain, combined with a natural lively theatrical performance, enabled her to create a number of roles of the Czech opera repertoire as well as of the world one, such as Katya (in L. Janáček's Katya Kabanova), Rusalka (in A. Dvořák's Rusalka), Margueritte (in Ch. Gounod's Faust), Elisabeth (in G. Verdi's Don Carlos) and others. Jiřina Marková has also been paying concentrated attention to songs and has been performing as a soloist at concerts. She has been applying her professional experience as a pedagogue at the Prague Conservatory of Music and her own School of Singing.
Michael Eliasen, of Danish origin, studied piano at the Academy of Music in Vienna. At first he worked as a pedagogue and a singing coach in Canada and later in Philadelphia, U.S.A. In the latter place he has presently become chief of the singing department at the world known Curtis Institute. As an outstanding connoisseur of human voice he conducted senior courses of music in many countries (Israel, Australia, Korea). The Belgian town of Gent has been, for a number of years, his European place of work. During the International Summer Opera Academy, he has been working there with young singers, directors and conductors from all the world. At song concerts he has been accompanying such prominent singers as S. Armstrong, E. Ammerling, R. Merill, T. Krause, J. Shirley-Quirk and others. Since 1992 Michael Eliasen has become the voice adviser of the Prague National Theatre Opera.
Jan Theobald Held (1770 - 1851) was one of the outstanding personalities of the Czech National Revival Period. Being a physician he devoted himself primarily to his profession in which he achieved a significant position (he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Rector of the Prague University), However, his activities in music (he was a baritone singer and he played violin, viola and especially guitar) contributed much to the efforts of the Czech National Revivalists. His composition work, affected by W. A. Mozart and the composers of the Berlin school (J. Reichardt and K. Zelter) was concentrated in the first place to the songs. His Six Rustic Songs cycle, published under a pseudonym of Jan Orebský, was intended to be performed in the bourgeois and aristocratic houses.
In addition to the Moravian Duets, the song creations of Antonín Dvořák (1841 - 1904) have been dominated by the Gypsy Melodies and the Biblical Songs. The Love Songs, Op. 83, belong to his less known compositions. They originated at the end of 1888, when the composer revised the set of eighteen songs, called Cypresses, which he had composed earlier to the lyrical and elegiac poems by G. Pflegr-Moravský. An impulse to the composition in 1865 was Dvořák's unreturned emotional flare-up to his then young girl-pupil J. Čermáková. The impression was so deep that the composer kept returning to the Cypresses even though he never published them in their original version. In 1887 Dvořák modified the composition for a string quartet. The revision made a year thereafter resulted in the Love Songs reflecting the emotional world of a "youngster in love", which were Dvořák's own words in a letter to Mr. Simrock, his musical works publisher.
Alban Berg (1885 - 1935) lived since his high school studies in the Viennese artistic circles where he met on friendly terms St. Zweig, K. Kraus, G. Klimt, A. Loos, P. Altenberg and O. Kokoschka. There he learnt to know also A. Schönberg who became not only his teacher. Similarly as A. Webern, he also shared A. Schönberg's creative experience and development leading to radical changes in style. Berg terminated his years of apprenticeship by a one-movement piano sonata and a cycle of songs called Sieben frühe Lieder which was revised and published in 1928. The songs conform to the tradition of German romanticists. The influences reflected in those songs can be traced from Schumann to the period of early Schönberg's creation.
An important part of Richard Strauss' (1864 - 1949) works are more than 200 songs which were written primarily in the time period 1885 to 1906 for the singer Paulina de Alma, composer's wife, and other favourite interpreters. Richard Strauss used to choose texts to be put to music in a similar way as Schubert, i.e. not according to their literary quality, but primarily with regard to their effects on his creative ability. The melodious lyricism, so evident in his operas, was to be heard for the first time in his songs op.10, which he composed when he was 21 years old and which also brilliantly reflect, in musical way, Gilm's poem Allerseelen. Strauss's characteristic songs are his best creations of this type in proving his sensitivity and ability to express, by musical means, various qualities, states of mind and moods.