Berg: Wozzeck

Composer Alban Berg
Artist Theo Adam bass
Gisela Schröter mezzo soprano
Reiner Goldberg tenor
Leipzig Radio Symphony Chorus
Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
Herbert Kegel conductor
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 94699
EAN code 5028421946993
Release October 2013

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About this release

The history of Wozzeck began nearly 200 years ago, when Johann Christian Woyzeck, a onetime soldier and jobless wigmaker, killed his sweetheart with a knife in a fit of jealous rage. The tragic incident provided the material for the German playwright Georg Büchner, who interpreted the fate of Woyzeck as a mass phenomenon; in his play, Büchner portrays the convicted murdered as a hopeless, compulsive creature, a mere cog in the wheels of a destructive and repressive system that tramples all human values underfoot.

Such is the message communicated in Alban Berg’s setting of the work, which was premiered more than 100 years later in Berlin. Even before its first performance the opera was already causing controversy, with critics – Schoenberg among them – labelling Berg’s decision to set Büchner’s play to music a daring and ill-conceived venture, but in the end it proved to be one of the great successes on the stage, its perfect blend of a strictly autonomous design and dramatic expressiveness providing the perfect musical dress for the playwright’s social criticism. Berg defies operatic conventions, or ‘universal human sentiments’, instead choosing to arouse sympathy with the humiliated and ridiculed, and allowing them to utter what seems incapable of expression.

An all-star German cast – the great baritone Theo Adam and contralto Gisela Schröter among them – graces this recording of the work, recorded live in Leipzig’s Kongresshalle back in 1973. ‘Kegel’s Wozzeck shows typically fine judgment – intense, but not exaggerated or overwrought, powerfully emotional without indulgence or sensationalism, lucid without being analytical’ (MusicWeb International).

Other information:
- An “intense, powerfully emotional” (Musicweb International) live performance of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, the tale of the individual caught in the destructive forces of the totalitarian and repressive system, which Berg loaded with such explosive musical and socio-political content.
- Starring the great baritone Theo Adam and mezzo soprano Gisela Schröter, conductor Herbert Kegel establishing his status as champion of the great, monumental 20th century masterpieces.
- Booklet contains detailed tracklist, notes and plot synopsis.
- Libretto available on www.brilliantclassics.com.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 1. The Captain’s Room: I. Langsam, Wozzeck, langsam! - II. Wozzeck, Er sieht immer so verhetzt aus! - III. Wozzeck, Er ist ein guter Mensch (Wozzeck, Captain)
  2. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 1. The Captain’s Room: Transformation Music
  3. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 2. Open Country with the Town in the Distance: I. Du, der Platz ist verflucht! - II. Läuft dort ein Has vorbei - III. Hörst Du, es wandert was (Wozzeck, Andres)
  4. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 2. Open Country with the Town in the Distance: Transformation Music
  5. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 3. Marie’s Room: I. Tschin Bum, Tschin Bum - II. Komm, mein Bub! - III. Mädel, was fangst Du jetzt an? - IV. Wer da? Bist Du’s, Franz? - V. Der Mann! So vergeistert! (Wozzeck, Marie, Margret, Marie’s Boy)
  6. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 3. Marie’s Room: Transformation Music
  7. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 4. The Doctor’s Study: I. Passacaglia-Thema. Was erleb’ ich, Wozzeck? … XXII. Var.21. Unsterblich! (Wozzeck, Doctor)
  8. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 4. The Doctor’s Study: Transformation Music
  9. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 1, Scene 5. Street outside Marie’s House: I. Geh einmal vor Dich hin! - II. Sieht Dir der Teufel aus den Augen?! (Marie, Drum Major)
  10. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 1. Marie’s Room: I. Was die Steine glänzen? … VI. Ich bin doch ein schlecht Mensch (Wozzeck, Marie, Marie’s Boy)
  11. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 1. Marie’s Room: Transformation Music

Disk 2

  1. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 2. Street: I. Wohin so eilig … V. Wie der Kerl läuft (Wozzeck, Doctor, Captain)
  2. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 2. Street: Transformation Music
  3. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 3. Alley outside Marie’s house: I. Guten Tag, Franz - II. Da! Hat er do gestanden (Wozzeck, Marie)
  4. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 3. Alley outside Marie’s house: Transformation Music. I. Empty Stage - II. Curtain Lowers Slowly
  5. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 4. Beer Garden: I. Ich hab’ ein Hemdlein an … X. Blut? Blut, Blut! (1st Apprentice, 2nd Apprentice, Wozzeck, Marie, Drum Major, Andres, Madman)
  6. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 4. Beer Garden: Transformation Music
  7. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 2, Scene 5. Guardroom in the Barracks: I. Oh oh Andres! Ich kann nicht schlafen - II. Ich bin ein Mann! (Wozzeck, Andres, Drum Major)
  8. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 1. Marie’s Room: I. Thema. Grave (Und ist kein Betrug …) … VIII. Var.7. Wie steht es geschrieben - IX. Fuge. Und kniete hin zu seinen Füßen (Marie)
  9. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 1. Marie’s Room: Transformation Music
  10. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 2. Forest Path by the Pond: I. Dort links geht’s in die Stadt - II. Wie der Mond rot aufgeht! (Wozzeck, Marie)
  11. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 2. Forest Path by the Pond: Transformation music
  12. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 3. Tavern: I. Tanzt Alle; tanzt nur zu - II. Komm setz Dich her, Margret! - III. Nein! keine Schuh (Wozzeck, Margret)
  13. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 3. Tavern: Transformation Music
  14. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 4. Forest Path by the Pond: I. Das Messer? Wo ist das Messer? - II. Aber der Mond verrät mich - III. Halt! – Hören Sie? Dort! (Wozzeck, Doctor, Captain)
  15. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 4. Forest Path by the Pond: Transformation Music
  16. Wozzeck, Op. 7, Act 3, Scene 5. Outside Marie’s House (Children, Marie’s Boy)