Suzi More Sings Max Kowalski, Opus 9

by Suzi More with Victoria Griswold

Released 2014
Released 2014
Opus 9, Four Songs of Max Kowalski, 1882-1956. On the poetry of Jakob Vogel, Novalis, Lissauer, and Dehmel. Originally written and dedicated to Hans Vaterhaus, a famous German Bass baritone, It is sung by Suzi More with Victoria Griswold 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, 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, 11 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. Morehead, was presented at both the Los Angeles, California (1989), and Little Rock, Arkansas, National Association of Teacher's of Singing (NATS) conventions. Under auspices of the United States Embassy, Ms. Morehead toured Brazil.
She is a recipient of several Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Incentive Grants, for performance and research. She is a member of the National, New Jersey and New York Chapters of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, as well as 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 Dalton Baldwin. Ms. More 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 25 years as well as taught several years in the Passaic School district as music specialist.

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.

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

Song Lyrics and Translations:

1.Kein sel’ger Tod ist in der Welt.
(Jakob Vogel um 1600)
Kein sel’ger Tod ist in der Welt Als wer vor’m Feind‘ erschlagen,
Auf grüner Haid‘ im freien Feld Darf nicht hör’n gross Wehklagen,
Im engen Bett, da ein’r allein Muss an den Todesreihen,
Hie aber findt er Gsellschaft fein, Fall’n mit, wie Kräuter im Mayen.
Ich sag ohn‘ Spott, Kein selig’r Tod Ist in der Welt, Als so man fällt,
Auf grüner Haid, Ohn Klag und Leid! Mit Trommeln Klang
Und Pfeiffern G’sang, Wird man begraben, Davon thut haben Unsterblichen Ruhm.
Mancher Held fromm, Hat zugesezt Leib und Blute Dem Vaterland zu gute.
No blissful death is in the world, As who killed enemy in front
on green heath in the open field Must not hear great lamentations.
In the narrow bed otherwise he alone must on the death rows,
but this company is fine with fall'n like herbs in May-.
No other death to me so please enjoy! Whoever buried with sound,
on the great battlefield ever have to Monument green.
I'll call when I die, to be buried and have immortal glory.
Is given this body and blood to the fatherland for good.

2. Maria
(Novalis , Friedrich Hartenberg 1772-1801)
Ich sehe dich in tausend Bildern,Maria, lieblich ausgedrückt,
Doch keins von allen kann dich schildern, Wie meine Seele dich erblickt.
Ich weiß nur, dass der Welt Getümmel Seitdem mir wie ein Traum verweht
Und ein unnennbar süßer Himmel Mir ewig im Gemüte steht.
I see you in a thousand pictures, Maria, lovely words,
But none can tell you of all, How my soul sees you.
All I know is, the world’s turmoil Since then I gone like a dream
And an Unnamable sweet heaven Is forever in my heart.
3. Glockeninschrift
(Ernst Lissauer)
Wo der schwingende Klöppel schlägt an das hallende Erz,
Trage ich breit eine tiefe Wunde, Geläut ist Schmerz,
Aber ich klinge die Stunde.
Bell inscription
Where the swinging Clapper strikes the echoing ore
I'm wearing a deep wound wide
Bells is a pain But I sound the hour.
4. Feierabend
(Richard Dehmel, 1913)
Geh nur, lieber Tag, freue dich der Nacht.
Nichts bleibt unvollbracht; deines Lichtes Macht
keimt im dunkeln Grund. Einst wird alles kund,
hell von Mund zu Mund, was uns heut im Traum erst dämmern mag.
Closing time
Go ahead, dear day, rejoice the night. Nothing remains unfulfilled; your light power.
These seeds germinate in the dark.Once everything is known, bright by word of mouth,
that today we dream like until dawn.

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