Saturday, February 19, 2011

Roessel-Majdan, Hugues Cuenod, Bach Geistliche Leider Volume 1


When Hugues Cuenod died a few months ago at the age of 108, I was unable to get a post up to recognize his long and productive career. The current offering is a good example of his art; he sings these sacred songs with honest simplicity and the beautifully straightforward vocalism for which he was known. The wonderful Hilde Roessel-Majdan we have come across before on this blog, in Bach cantata recordings conducted by Hermann Scherchen. A fine singer in many genres, it is hard to best her in Bach.

Cuenod's contribution to the current project was issued previously on 2 CDs, but they are no longer available. In any case, I find the alternation of the tenor and alto in the present recording --the first of the four LP set -- affecting and effective. The two voices compliment each other beautifully and provide, I believe, needed variety to songs very similar in style and intent.

I will be adding the other three volumes over the next days. They are all from the same later pressings in Westminster's "Collectors Series" -- the ones so many of us treasure, with those eye-assaulting orange covers. The music and text, kindly provided by Neal at Neal's Historical Recordings, is available from the link below.

16 comments:

  1. Great post Larry! I have these on really beat up old lps. Actually have Cuenod performing Buxtehude here is Cambridge MA and I shall have to transfer that Music Guild production since the record is in great shape. You inspired me with this offering. I did not realize Cuenod lived such a long life!

    Great taste!

    Fred

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  2. Thanks Ranapipiens. Check back for the next 3 volumes.

    Fred: Cuenod in Cambridge would be great. I found all four volumes of the Geistliche Lieder here in Albuquerque in very nice shape. Not perfect, but good. I have grown increasingly fond of the works.

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  3. Simply wonderful! Thank You very much

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  4. Anonymous: Thanks for the feedback. I'll get the other three records up over the next weeks or so.

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  5. Thank you for the Cuenod Bach series, Larry!

    I don't have any LPs with Cuenod but I have some CDs on the Dante/LYS label and like his Buxtehude/Bach and Clerambault. I do not have his Passion recording with Scherchen and his Couperin CD but many people love them.

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  6. Hi Anton: Good to hear from you.

    When, later in life, Cuenod was asked about preserving his voice for so long, he responded, "What voice?". It's a small voice, for sure, and not sensually overwhelming, but I find it pleasing, and Cuenod used it with intelligence and good musicianship.

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  7. I've got these records in a boxed set with a booklet that should be more readable than the back of these albums....I'll try to scan them and post them here sometime...hopefully soon! I was thinking about transferring these, but I think these later collectors series pressings are better. I do have a few other Cuenods that I should share....French & Italian Troubador Songs, Faure, La Bonne Chanson....

    Thanks!

    Neal

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  8. Thanks, Neal, that would be great!

    I've always liked Cuenod's sweet tenor, and will forward to your future posts.

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  9. Hi Larry!

    Here, as promised, are the scans to the boxed set version (Westminster WAL 402), which contains program notes by Kurt List, and the scores in the form of a special "Lea Pocket Score", made specially for the set. I don't know how to make the files a smaller size, but hopefully these look good enough.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?tgbpig6wt7wpbcn

    I'm working on 4 Cuenod Lps to upload soon, and maybe more depending on how a couple of library copies turn out.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series, thanks!

    Neal

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  10. Hi Neal: Thanks for these. Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I'll edit the text over the weekend to include your link, unless you would prefer me to move them to my folder on Mediafire.

    Thanks so much again. Volume 3 should be up in a day or two.

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  11. Dear Larry, Is anyone else having trouble with the files for tracks 9 and 19 of Volume I?

    I am --- I can convert the FLAC to WAV but cannot burn either FLAC or WAV files for those tracks in any of 5 or 6 burning suites.

    I'm listening to and enjoying Vol. II now; I burned that with no problem.

    TWS

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  12. I'll research what is going on and try to repost. It may take a day or two. Thanks for letting me know.

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  13. Do you know whether the Vanguard CD of Bach cantatas directed by Sternberg, with Cuenod and others singing, will become available again? I heard only excerpts, and I believe it was at the highest level of musical quality. I have been hoping that we would have access to it at last, now that the great tenor has left us. Thanks for your good work.

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  14. Thank you very much for these fascinating shares!

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  15. WMS Nemo: Thanks. I should get volume 4 done and up in a couple of weeks, after a too long absence from attending to the blog.

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