“The evening’s special sensation was to be found in the compositional debut of conductor Viktor Ullmann from the German Theatre. His lyric miniatures attempt an impressive synthesis of natural melodic invention and sharp dissonant harmonies. The mood is always suggestively portrayed and kept in
Troupová-Wilke is entirely at ease with the demands of all of the songs on this recording. Dušek is…a supporting accompanist… Hopefully this album will encourage more soprano vocalists to explore this highly engaging repertoire.
Critic's Choice - Opera News
Czech soprano Irena Troupová, who began her career as an early-music specialist, is a gratifyingly clear exponent of these challenging, grippingly individual songs. They demand complete musical and intonational assurance, which she provides in abundance. She’s comfortable with the angular intervallic leaps of “Aus dem Häuschen in den Garten,” another Steffen verse, and a song such as “Sonnenuntergang,” with its treacherously high middle section, could easily have sounded shrill in the hands of an artist with less vocal control. Troupová even sounds right at home with the Drei Jiddische Lieder, the standout of which is “A Mejdel in die Johren,” with its mix of tragedy, reproach and humor. Pianist Jan Dusek matches her colors and renders Ullmann’s crunchy harmonies with fullness and understanding. This is a major release.
Compact and valuable addition - Musical Web International
Soprano Irena Troupová used to be quite well-known for her immersion in Early Music but she’s since expanded to take in Czech music of the inter-war years and is well versed in the milieu. She captures Ullmann’s Schoenberg-Zemlinsky side very well, though some of his more unforgiving registral leaps find her tone – inevitably perhaps – somewhat pinched. Jan Dušek is her well-attuned colleague, who has few opportunities to indulge in postludes but sticks to the singer like glue. Glitches quietly noted, this is a compact and valuable addition to Ullmann’s representation on disc.
American Record Guide
Ullmann’s music is demanding of both singer and pianist, and Troupova and Dusek do pretty well. Troupova’s voice has little warmth, but she makes up for it with clarity of tone and excellent intonation. Dusek sounds confident in every piece.
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