Opus 8

by Suzi More & Victoria Griswold

Released 2013
Released 2013
Max Kowalski (1882-1956), Opus 8, Three songs of Martin Greif, written in 1914.
1. Vor der Ernte, 2. Abendklange, 3. Nachrgefuhl. These are lieder written for Gertrud Fischer-Maretski, a well-known performer of Leider in Kowalski's time in Germany.
Max Kowalski(1882-1956) was born in Kowal, Poland. His family moved the next year to Frankfort, Germany, where he grew up, studied and earned Doctorates in both Music and Law (his specialty was Copyrights). His teacher of compostition was Bernhard Sekles and voice, Alexander Heineman. In Germany from 1913 till 1931, Max Kowalski was a prolific composer of beautiful lieder in the Romantic style. Although he was Jewish, Max Kowalski wrote music of all styles and genres, from Japanese, Chinese, Danish, Arabic, French and that of many great German authors, he even wrote a Marienlieder in his Opus 12. He was friend to many other composers, artists and performers and every song cycle he wrote was quickly published until Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich took over the country. In the late 30's Kowalski was very involved with the "Kulterbund" in Frankfort, Germany and his music continued to have popularity in their orchestral concerts. He is mentioned and highlighted by his presence at the last Kulturbund concert(1938) in Martin Goldsmith's book entitled "The Inextinguishable Symphony". By the end of 1938, Kowalski was arrested and spent time in Buchenwald but within a month he was released and he fled to England where he spent the rest of his life teaching voice, singing in a Synagogue and making a humble living. Although no music of his was ever published again, he kept writing new works, 17 new song cycles in manuscripts which singers performed in concerts and on radio. Opus 1 is his first composition dated 1913 and first published by Leukart in Germany. It had been out-of-print many years until Dr. Walter Foster of Recital Publications in Huntsville, Texas took up the committment to bring as many of Max Kowalski's song cycles to the public as possible. So far, all of his 17 previously published cycles have been reprinted and several of the manuscripts are being printed as first editions. In addition, 11 of his song cycles have been recorded.

A New Jersey native, Miss More has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She has been soloist and has appeared in numerous operatic roles performing with the Festival Chorus of New Jersey, the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Singers, the Plainfield Symphony, Ars Musica Antiqua, the Garden State Chorale, the State Repertory Opera, Jersey Lyric Opera, Choral Baccarelli (Sao Paulo, Brazil), the Academy of Vocal Arts Opera Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), Montclair Chamber Orchestra, and numerous others. In 1989, she was the award-winning collaborator along with composer Loretta Jankowski, of a song cycle entitled Phoenix, published internationally by Boosey & Hawkes, in December 1993. The work, featuring Ms. More, was presented at both the Los Angeles, California (1989), and Little Rock, Arkansas, national Association of Teacher's of singing (NATS) conventions. She is a recipient of several Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Incentive Grants, for performance and research. She is a member of the NATS, NJ, NYC and National chapters. Also, a composer of jazz, folk and children's songs. Her voice teachers and coaches include Franco Rossi-Roudett, Terrence Shook, Helen Fenstermacher, Chloe Owens, Daniel Ferro, Marlena Malas, Dorothea Discala, Frank Valentino, Deborah Taylor, and Dolores Cassinelli. She has appeared in master classes with Elly Amelling, Jerome Hines, Judith Raskin, and Daltin Baldwin. Ms. Morehead holds a B.A. degree from Rutgers University, M.A. degree from Jersey City State College, and pursued studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts, in Philadelphia, and New York University. She has worked as voice teacher, chorus director and Orff specialist at the Newark School of the Arts for over 30 years. As well as has taught over twenty years in the New Jersey school systems, now retired.

Victoria Griswold is a classical pianist who has concertized in Europe, Brazil and throughout the New York metropolitan area. At her debut recital in NYC, one reviewer characterized her as "an elegant pianist." She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music. In Europe she recorded new works of William Thomas McKinley with such orchestras as the Warsaw Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She is currently working on a recording of piano music by women composers.
Her musical background also includes appearances as pianist and Music Director for professional musical theatre productions, Music Director and harpsichordist for Ars Musica Antiqua, and early music ensemble and as church organist. She also served as staff accompanist at New Jersey City University for six years.
Ms. Griswold taught piano for 30 years in her private studio and has adjudicated many young people's competitions and auditions sponsored by such organizations as the New Jersey Symphony, the Livingston Symphony, the Music Educators of New Jersey, the Andrew DeGrado Foundation and the New Jersey Music Teachers Association. Victoria Griswold is also the owner of the Plainfield Music Store, a retail establishment specializing in printed music.

Drei Gedichte, Opus 8
1. Vor der ernte
Nun storet die Ahren im felde ein leiser Hauch.
wenn eine sich beugt, so bebet die andre auch.
Es ist als ahnten sie alle der Sichel schnitt
die Blumen und fremden Halme erzittern mit.

1. Before the Harvest
Now a soft wind is stirring the ears in the field.
As one is bending, so are the others.
It's as if they all know the thrash of the scythe.
Flowers and stalks tremble together.

2. Abendklange
Wieder ist ein Erdentag mit der Sonne
Heute liegt, wo Gestern lag.
Sterne, steigt empor den Muden,
das die Seele hoffen mag,
sprechet uns von Himmelsfrieden.

2. Evening Rings
Again a day on the earth has left
with the sun,
Today is where yesterday lay,
Stars, rise up high for the sleepy.
For their spirits long for it.
Speaking of heavenly peace.

3. Nachtgefuh
O stille Nacht, o Nacht der Stille,
zur ruh gebracht der ganze Wille.
Zum Schlaf bereit, das Herz voll Sorgen,
o schone Zeit bis den Morgen.

3. Oh quiet night, Oh night of stillness.
The soul is brought to peacefulness.
Going to sleep, a sad heart rests.
Oh, sweet hours till the morning.

The onsite and studio recording as well as mastering were done by Max Caselnova of Clearcut Recording Studio, Garfield, New Jersey.

Final Mastering and Artwork by Max Caselnova at Clearcut Studios, Garfield, NJ.

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