Her voice is regarded as perhaps the most beautiful on the Scandinavian scene today. This release features the outstanding Randi Stene in a great song cycle and two vocal symphonies from the early 1900s.
Alexander Zemlinsky (1871–1942) was virtually forgotten until the 1980s. As a young student in Vienna his potential was such that Brahms convinced his own publisher to take Zemlinsky on. Later on he taught Arnold Schoenberg, and Alban Berg dedicated his Lyrical Suite to him. Musically Zemlinsky appear related to Mahler and Strauss, but also with inspiration from Debussy and Ravel – hear the first of the Six Songs. Maurice Maeterlinck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1911, and the texts for these songs are from the “Quinze chansons”.
In the 1920s and 30s, the German Jew Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942) was mentioned among such composers as Paul Hindemith and Kurt Weill. In the 30s Schulhoff’s music was proscribed by the Nazis, and for almost 50 years it was completely forgotten. With the recent interest in ‘degenerate’ composers systematically exiled or exterminated by the Third Reich, Schulhoff’s music has been rediscovered and rehabilitated to an astonishing extent. Landschaften and Menschheit, two of his most important early works, were long believed lost or destroyed and have only recently begun to get their share of attention: they prove to be works of remarkable beauty.
Randi Stene and Trondheim Symphony Orchestra
Randi Stene made a sensational international debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris in 1993. Since then she has appeared in many leading opera-houses and concert halls such as Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Opéra Bastille in Paris, Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Salzburg Festival, the festivals in Edinburgh and Bergen. Since 1989 she is engaged at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen. In 2006 Muhai Tang started his tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1909. It has established a solid position as an inspiring impulse with recent successful tours in Germany, Austria, Spain and Czech.