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Recto de la pochette du disque Westminster WST 17088
Verso de la pochette du disque Westminster WST 17088
Étiquette recto du disque Westminster WST 17088
Étiquette verso du disque Westminster WST 17088

Robert SCHUMANN
Manfred, Poème dramatique en trois parties op. 115
dans un arrangement de Hermann SCHERCHEN
David Carlile HERMGES, narrateur / Manfred
Choeur de chambre de l'Académie de Vienne
Grand Orchestre de la Radio Autrichienne
Hermann SCHERCHEN
17 juin 1964, Salle Mozart du Konzerthaus Wien


En guise de courte présentation de ce disque assez particulier, un texte extrêmement intéressant de David Carlile HERMGES (05.03.1928 - 02.04.2007) - qui explique maintes imperfections de cet enregistrement - publié sur le site ReDiscovery / David GIDEON lors de la sortie sur CD de leur restauration de ce disque (qui peut être librement téléchargée sous ce lien de la page référenciée ci-dessus, ReDiscovery Stereo RD 058 au format mp3 320kbps):

"[...] I am very grateful to you for sending me the CD of Scherchen's Manfred interpretation. It recreates (alarmingly) well the echoey atmosphere of the recording session in the Vienna Konzerthaus 38 years ago. If my memory serves me correctly the overall audio quality of the CD is superior to that of the original LP. Your re-mastering could not do anything though to repair shortcomings in the performance.The result rather reminds me of the legendary curate's egg--good in places. Nevertheless, it is a distinctly interesting curiosity for whose "rediscovery" you deserve great credit.

It was an enticing offer: narrator on an LP recording with Hermann Scherchen and the Vienna Radio Orchestra of Schumann's Manfred using Byron's original poem. A combination which had never been tried before. My immediate impression of Scherchen was positive. No trace of his alleged difficulties. Just a fiery enthusiasm for everything British, in particular for the mystical magic of Manfred.

A run-through of the text with Scherchen before the scheduled recording brought up several points of disagreement. Too many liberties had been taken with the text in order to fit the musical exigencies. I argued and got my way on most points, compromising on some others.

The intention the following day - hot and sultry in (June?) 1964 - was to spend the morning in a full run-through with narrator, orchestra, and choir. Then the actual recording in the afternoon with ample time for re-takes and any additional dubbing. The whole operation had to be finished by late afternoon because the orchestra was playing a concert in the evening.

Things went wrong. Before we could even get going - in the Mozartsaal of the Vienna Konzerthaus - the whole operation came abruptly to a standstill. The sound engineer, an elderly man, I cannot remember his name, received a major electric shock while setting up the microphones. It looked at first as if he was on his way out. Fortunately he was brought round. Valuable hours had been lost though. It was decided, around midday, to go straight into hit-or-miss recording with immediate retakes whenever necessary.

The session proved anything but smooth. Scherchen knew what he wanted all right but he had difficulty in communicating it to the widely separated participants: orchestra on the podium, the choir at floor level, and the narrator up on the balcony. Tempers soon began to fray. An hour before the five pm deadline only about half of the work was in the can. The heat was on. We just had to (literally) steam ahead and see that the rest of the piece got onto tape in some sort of shape. The result was certainly not optimum. However, Scherchen was not unhappy and said we would have an opportunity to correct any unsatisfactory passages. We never did. How wonderful it would be to re-record the whole piece under optimum studio conditions (including occasional balance checks), giving more prominence to Byron's polished prosody. Alas Hermann Scherchen is no longer with us!
[...]" David C. HERMGES, Wien

À noter qu'il existe un autre enregistrement que Hermann Scherchen avait fait 4 ans auparavant - le 28 septembre 1960 - en langue allemande avec Ingeborg Ottmann et Otto Mellies, narratrice resp. narrateur, et les Choeur et Orchestre de la Radio de Leipzig - voir cette page de mon site -- lien vient prochainement --.

Le texte de la première partie:


Le texte de la seconde partie:

Le texte de la troisième partie:



Étiquette recto du disque Westminster WST 17088
Voici donc...
Robert Schumann, Manfred, Poème dramatique en trois parties, op. 115, dans un arrangement de Hermann Scherchen, David Carlile Hermges, narrateur / Manfred, Choeur de chambre de l'Académie de Vienne («Wiener Akademie Kammerchor»), Grand Orchestre de la Radio Autrichienne («Grosses Orchester des Österreichischen Rundfunks (ORF)», l'actuel «ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien»), Hermann Scherchen, 17 juin 1964, Salle Mozart du «Konzerthaus Wien».

0. Ouverture                                                    10:30 (-> 10:30)
Prologue
1. Première partie                                              06:39 (-> 17:09)
Manfred's call to the spirits - Appearance of a mysterious female figure -
The shepperd's pipe and the sauntering herd
2. Seconde partie                                               12:43 (-> 29:52)
Interlude and adjuration of the witch of the Alps - Hymn of the spirits of
Arimanes - The spirits and Manfred - Manfred's address to Astarte
3. Troisième partie                                             08:32 (-> 38:24)
Manfred's reflections - Sunset - Closing scene: Requiem

Provenance: Westminster WST 17088

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En écoute comme fichier mp3 320 kbps

0. Ouverture
1. Première partie
2. Seconde partie
3. Troisième partie