Music on the Ocean
|Genre||Chor | Lied|
|Artist||various, Lynne Dawson, Alida Schat, Jaap ter Linden, Bart van Oort|
|Composer||Ludwig van Beethoven|
The cosmopolitan Beethoven
In 1809 Beethoven agreed to write undemanding piano trio accompaniments for folk-songs from the British Isles for the Edinburgh publisher George Thomson. The composer probably saw this apparently unrewarding work as no more than a welcome source of revenue at first. Yet Beethoven would not have been Beethoven if even this modest task had not stimulated his musical curiosity and compositional creativity. His repertoire of accompanying figures seems inexhaustible, clever modulations are still present and he introduces immense variety into the string parts. The work seems to have provided him considerable amusement, for he went on to create more than 170 examples of this striking cross between folk and art song. The characteristic charm of the melodies was probably an important factor in this. It was an easy matter to provide such melodies with harmonies of some kind, he wrote to Thomson, but to find just the ones that match their nature cost more effort than Thomson perhaps assumed: "You could give me a dozen ducats more for the work and it would still not be adequate payment."
Though intended for domestic use, these songs have found their way into the concert repertoire, and who could better present them than Lynne Dawson, one of England's most versatile and popular sopranos? The folk-song arrangements have long formed a part of her repertoire, and now she has at last ventured into a recording studio to present a personal selection of them on a CD. She is joined by the renowned early music specialists Jaap ter Linden on the cello, Alida Schat on the violin and Bart van Oort at the fortepiano.
With her charming and touching voice sounding over the somewhat harsher tone of the historical instruments, Lynne Dawson sings an ocean of joy and melancholy, through which gleams many an emotional and musical profundity.