How many got the 66-CD set w/Michael Raucheisen?

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Lance
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How many got the 66-CD set w/Michael Raucheisen?

Post by Lance » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:17 pm

The celebrated German pianist, Michael Raucheisen (1889-1984), was in his heyday what English pianist Gerald Moore was in his heyday. Moore lived between 1899 and 1987. Raucheisen lived the longer life in terms of number of years, but it was Moore who emerged as the world's most incomparable accompanist after World War II and to the time of his passing. Raucheisen enjoyed that reputation between the Great War and through to just after World War II. It must have been difficult making music during WW II, but Raucheisen was constantly on the radio acting as accompanist to many of the great German and Austrian singers of his day, introducing especially German lieder that was totally forgotten. His job as head of the Song and Chamber Music at the Berlin Radio commenced in 1940 though he already enjoyed enormous success as a concert accompanist long before that. If the singer had a superb voice and was not as well known, he would include them on his radio programs. This also assisted greatly in launching the younger singer on a fine career path.

This 66-CD set, published by FonoTeam/Membran features well over 1,000 songs remastered at 24/96. Many of these recordings could be found on LP on the Acanta label some years ago. The singers? Well, it's another treasure-trove of songs by Beethoven, Leo Bleck, Brahms, Cornelius, Debussy, Grieg, Liszt, Loewe, Marschner, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Nicolai, Pfitzner, Reger, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Richard Trunk, von Weber, Hugo Wolf, Zilcher, and countless others.

The list of singers reads like the "who-who" of that period, the well established ones, and the ones that would become famous after WW II: Herbert Alsen, Peter Anders, Erna Berger, Rudolf Bockelmann, Kurt Bohme, Anton Dermota, Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender, Josef Greindl, Elisabeth Hongen, Karl Erb, Margarete Klose, Frida Leider, Emmi Leisner, Tiana Lemnitz, Julius Patzak, Hans Hotter, Elisabeth Rethberg, Helge Roswaenge, Erna Sack, Fanz Volker, Heinrich Schlusnus, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and again, countless others.

The accompanying booklet (1/4"+ thick) gives thumbnail sketches of composers and artists, and of course, a biographical sketch of Herr Raucheisen along with an analysis on the art of accompanying. The huge box contains 33 two-CD jewel cases. It's the kind of thing one turns to in order to hear great singing of the past in much repertoire that has gone by the wayside, and by singers who are largely gone now. When you cannot think of anything to place in your CD player (or on your LP turntable), this fits the bill perfectly. One can truly learn the art of song interpretation from the singers—and accompanist—in this set.

The set is very inexpensive, as little as $125.00/USD in some places. Berkshire made it available for a time and may still have copies. Remastering is, for the most part, very good, given the condition of the original master discs, or tape transfers. It may not be a set for everyone (Gerald Moore and his pals and associates fit that need very nicely), but for vocal aficionados, it's a must.

It's impossible to comment on 1,000 songs here. But when one considers ONLY the assisting artist (the pianist), this is a fine tool for anyone interested in the art of accompanying from one of the most authoritative people in the world when the lied was at its greatest heights during record-producing years.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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dirkronk
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Post by dirkronk » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:21 am

I saw this when it showed up at Berkshire, but since I'm not much of a vocal aficionado I glossed over it quickly.

Giant sets of that sort have this "attract/repel" effect on me. Of COURSE they're tempting. When they represent the work of someone I already admire and/or collect (my earliest purchases in the CD format were the two 10-CD box sets of the Mravinsky Edition), I find them great buys. But they can be kind of a pain, too. I always fear that I'll buy it and just let it gather dust. Even with my LPs, I seldom find myself dragging a box down and going through the unpack-find-play-repack routine. Now, with CDs, I find it easier to ditch the box and re-store the CDs in soft-plastic sleeves that I found through jazzloft. This makes it more likely that I'll grab an individual CD and play it...yet I still feel kind of guilty and/or stupid for buying something so elaborately packaged when the package automatically goes into storage or the trash.

*sigh*

Dirk

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