Giacomo Meyerbeer – Lost and Forgotten Vocal Pieces for One or More Voices (vol. 5)
(b. Berlin, 5 September 1791 – d. Paris, 2 May 1864)
Five Choral Pieces on Biblical Themes
Choral Fugue: Gott des Weltalls Herr p.1
Uvnucho Yomar p.13
Tov L’hodot l’Adonai p. 17
Adonai Malach. p. 25
Jesus Once of Humble Birth p. 28
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), the master of French of Grand Opéra, is less well-known as a composer of songs. And yet Meyerbeer the songwriter is becoming better known as the extent of his oeuvre of over 80 Lieder, melodies and canzone is slowly rediscovered.
As in all his works, genre plays a crucial role, and Meyerbeer was gifted with an extraordinary capacity to live in the natural musical expressions of the various German, Italian and French milieux he lived in throughout his life, and to whose essential characteristics he responded with effortless intuitiveness. His unique cosmopolitanism, so characteristic of the 18th and early 19th centuries, was first hailed as an important binding force between nations. Later such trans-national characteristics were treated with scorn, even contempt, as extreme nationalism and wars beset the various countries of Europe.
Meyerbeer’s diaries refer to the composition of more than 80 songs. During his lifetime, he published these songs piecemeal, and sometimes not at all. However, later in his life, some of the by then well-known favorites were re-issued as collections. The most comprehensive was the set of 40 published in Paris by Brandus et Cie in 18501. In more modern times, Edition Peters in Leipzig, published a handsome modern volume, edited by Reiner Zimmermann2, which contained some of the Brandus songs and also, for the first time, six of Meyerbeer’s early Italian canzonette. To date, these 46 have been the only songs by the composer of easy access. …
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