Michael Nyman

Songbook

Songbook

Songbook

Decca CD/MC 425 227-2
1991

Ute Lemper

Michael Nyman Band
Alexander Balanescu:violin
Clare Connors: violin
Michael McMenemy: violin
Kate Musker: viola
Tony Hinnigan: cello
Ruth Phillips: cello
Tim Amherst: double bass
Martin Elliott: bass guitar
David Rix: clarinet, bass clarinet
John Harle: soprano, alto saxophone
David Roach: soprano, alto, tenor saxophone
Andrew Findon: baritone saxophone, flute
Graham Ashton: trumpet, flugelhorn
Marjorie Dunn: horn
Nigel Barr: bass trombone, euphonium
Michael Nyman: piano

Six Celan Songs - This cycle of settings of poems by Paul Celan was written between May and July 1990 for Ute Lemper. The texts are taken from the following collections: ‘Chanson einer Dame im Schatten’ and ‘Corona’ from Mohn und Ged?chtnis (1952), ‘N?chtlich gesch?rzt’ from Von Schwelle zu Schwelle (1955), ‘Blume’ from Sprachgitter (1959), and ‘Es war Erde ihnen’ and ‘Psalm’ from Die Niemandsrose of 1963.
The settings of ‘Corona’ and ‘Blume’ both introduce an eight-bar chord sequence derived from Chopin’s Mazurka in A minor, op. 17 no. 4 (the introduction to wich was used by Gorecki in his Symphony No. 3). During the writing of ‘Blume’, on 7 June 1990, my mother died, adn the cycle is dedicated to her memory.
Ariel Songs - These are reworkings of songs from The Tempest originally written for Peter Greenaway’s film Prospero’s Books in 1990.
I am an unusual thing - A song composed for Letters, Riddles and Writs directed by Jeremy Newson in 1990/1. Devised for the Artifax/BBC Not Mozart series commemorating the bicentenary of Mozart’s death, the film takes as song texts extracts from Mozart’s letters and a set of riddles he wrote and distributed in Vienna during the 1787 Carnival. This song combines one such riddle with a remark Mozart made about his professional prospects shrotly before his death, and is based entirely on extracts from two of his Haydn quartets.
L’ogie parisienne - Two linked songs ‘‘Allez! on pr?viendra les relfux’ / ‘Quand tes pieds ont dans?’) setting extracts of Rimbaud’s L’Orgie parisienne composed in 1989 for La Travers?e de Paris, an audio-visual exhibition held at the Grand Arche de la D?fense to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution.

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