Suzi More Sings Max Kowalski, Opus 14, 5 Songs of Hermann Hesse

by Suzi More with Angela Manso

Released 2014
Released 2014
Max Kowalski's 14 Song Cycle on the 5 Poems of Hermann Hesse. Performed by Suzi More, soprano, with Angela Manso at the piano.
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, 18 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, 13 of his 17 previously published cycles have been reprinted.

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 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 20 years in the New Jersey Public Schools as music specialist.

Pianist Angela Manso has served as musical/director/pianist for over forty operas and musical theater productions, including twenty for New York City's Bel Canto Opera Company. She served as assistant conductor for the Carnegie Hall performance of Mrs. H.H.A. Beach's Grand Mass in E-Flat Major, a work that was subsequently recorded in the Newport Classics label. Ms. Manso was the official accompanist for the first World Harmonica Championship on the Isle of Jersey, U.K., during which she performed in recital with harmonica virtuoso, Cham-Ber Huang, and accompanied internationally renowned artist Larry Adler and Mr. Huang performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto arranged for two harmonicas. As a composer, her Prayer for Mankind was performed by the Central City Chorus with Director Mr. Charles Pilling and organist Harry Huff. Women Singing, a women's choir directed by Ms. Phyllis Clark, performed Ms. Manso's O Son of Spirit! (originally written for eight-part mixed choir and arranged for four-part women's voices by Ms. Clark for the concert). The Celestial Tree was performed by Monica Jalili, soprano, and Angela Manso, pianist, at the Festival of the Arts presented by Global Music in New York City in 2002. Ms. Manso's chamber piece, Dawn, written for women's voices, harp, Native American flute, and Tibetan bells and ting-shas, was presented at the New York Baha'i convention in 2001.

This Cd was recorded and mastered in December 2014 by Max Caselnova of Clearcut Recording Studio, Garfield, New Jersey.

Max Kowalski's song cycle, Opus 14 is a setting of 5 poems of his friend Hermann Hesse. These came directly out of a little book entitled "Musik des Einsamen" from 1927, but with an original 1914 copyright, which Hermann Hesse gave to Max Kowalski to choose his favorites and put to music. The Kowalski autograph is in the first page and dated 14-6-30 or June 14th, 1930.

Hermann Hesse was born July 2, 1877 and died August 9, 1962. He was a German born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each book exploring individuality, authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Out of this exhaustive little book of poems (about 90) Max choose 5 to include them in the Opus 14.

Opus 14 Songs and translations

1. Assistono diversi santi
Nichts andres haben wir zu tun,
Als daß wir vor dem Heilandkind
Auf frommen Knieen betend ruhn.
Die wir der Jungfrau Diener sind.

Sieh, unser Dienst ist leicht und zart.
Wir atmen still im grünen Land
Der schönen Mutter Gegenwart.
Und selig werden wir genannt.

Und selig wirst auch du, o Christ,
Der du voll dunkler Sehnsucht bist,
Wenn du der Schönsten dich ergibst
Und keine andre liebst.

1. Tranlated to English

Assistono diversi santi
Nothing we have now and ever to do
That we are facing the Saviour child
Rest on religious knees praying.
We are the Virgin servant.

View our service is easy and tender;
We still breathe in the Green country
The beautiful mother present.
And blessed we are called.

And in faith also you Christian,
You're full of dark longing,
If you the most beautiful surrender
And no other love.

2. Der Blutenzweig

Immer [hin und wider] strebt der Blütenzweig im Winde,
immer auf und nieder strebt mein Herz gleich einem Kinde
zwischen hellen und dunklen Tagen, zwischen Wollen und Entsagen.
Bis die Blüten sind verweht und der Zweig in Früchten steht, bis das Herz,
der Kindheit satt, seine Ruhe hat und bekennt: voll Lust und nicht vergebens
war das unruhvolle Spiel des Lebens.

2. Translated to English-The bleeding branch

Always to and against the branch in the winds, seeking
always up and down, my heart is as a child seeks
between light and dark days, between ambition and forsake.
Until the flowers are gone with the wind and the twig in fruit stands up to the heart.
fed up with his rest has the childhood and confesses: full of lust, not in vain
was the unravelling game of life.

3.Weiße Rose in der Dämmerung

Traurig lehnst du dein Gesicht
Übers Laub, dem Tod ergeben,
Atmest geisterhaftes Licht,
Lässest bleiche Träume schweben.
Aber innig wie Gesang
Weht im letzten leisen Schimmer
Noch den ganzen Abend lang
Dein geliebter Duft durchs Zimmer

Deine kleine Seele wirb
Ängstlich um das Namenlose,
Und sie lächelt, und sie stirbt
Mir am Herzen, Schwester Rose.

3. Translated to English-White rose in the twilight

Sad you lean your face
Above the foliage, result in the death,
Breathe ghostly light,
Pale dreams float lingering.
But heartfelt as singing
Blowing in the last quiet shimmer
Have the whole night long
Your beloved scent across the room
Advertise your little soul
Anxious to the nameless,
She smiles, and she dies
Me at heart, sister rose.

4. Gang bei Nacht

Busch und Wiese, Feld und Baum
Stehen in begnügtem Schweigen,
Jeder ganz sich selbst zu eigen,
Jeder tief in seinem Traum.

Wolke schwebt und lichter Stern,
Wie zu hoher Wacht berufen,
Und der Berg mit steilen Stufen
Türmt sich dunkel, hoch und fern.

Alles weilt und hat Bestand,
Ich allein mit meinen Schmerzen
Treibe fern von Gottes Herzen
Weiter ohne Sinn durchs Land.

4. Translated into English

Speed at Night

Bush and meadow, field and tree
Standing in silence as statues be,
Everyone is very even own,
Each deep in his dream.
Cloud floats and lights star,
How to invoke to high watch,
And the mountain with steep steps
Piling in dark, high and far.
Everything is, and will stand,
I alone with my pain
Get away from God's heart
Continue without sense across the country

5. Enzianblüte
Du stehst von Sommerfreude trunken
Im seligen Licht und atmest kaum,
Der Himmel scheint in deinen Kelch gesunken,
Die Lüfte wehn in deinem Flaum.

Und wenn sie alle Schuld und Pein
Von meiner Seele könnten wehn,
So dürft ich wohl dein Bruder sein
Und stille Tage bei dir stehn.

So wäre meinen Weltenfahrten
Ein selig leichtes Ziel ersehn,
Gleich dir durch Gottes Träumegarten
Als blauer Sommertraum zu gehn.

5. Translated to English

Gentian flowers

You're drunk in summer joy
In the light of the blessed and breathing hard.
The sky seems sunk in your cup
The breezes wafting in your fluff.
And if they all blame and punishment
My soul could win, I may be your brother so
And quiet days on stand.
So would my world trips
See a blissfully easy target,
Same friends through God's dream garden
Blue summer dream to go.

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