"I love the dark hours of my being when my senses deepen..." When Rilke wrote these words in 1899, he was closing the book of a romantic century fascinated more than any other by the night: that night in which the artists draped themselves to enter into contact with their inner selves.
As a prelude, Schubert's Die Nacht invites us to raise our eyes to contemplate the stars shining in the celestial expanses. A moment of grace that is prolonged by Brahms' O schöne Nacht, a night of love whose gentleness touches the listener.
When he composed the Liebeslieder-Walzer, Brahms had left his native Hamburg for Vienna, where he gradually fell in love with the spirit of the city. These pieces are intended as a double homage to Schubert and Strauss. The late Zigeunerlieder were composed on his return from Hungary. They are love songs inspired by the gypsy repertoire. The composer of the Hungarian Dances seems to have turned his back somewhat on folklore in favour of a more secret and mysterious feeling.
Recently rediscovered, the German composer Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901) was undoubtedly somewhat forgotten for not being fully in tune with his times. It is true that he was more inspired by the musicians of the past - Bach, Mozart - than by his contemporaries. Im Erdenraum and Die Nacht give us a glimpse of this music that felt a little out of place in its era.
Lorraine National Opera Chorus
Die Nacht, D.983
O schöne Nacht, opus 92
Liebeslieder Walzer, opus 52
Im Erdenraum, opus 131/4
Die Nacht, opus 56
Zigeunerlieder, opus 103