Simple and Harmonically Brilliant
Right from the very first rehearsal Philipp Schlesinger was fascinated by this piece for four-part choir and piano. Previously he was most familiar with Rheinberger’s sacred vocal music, so the secular choral works and the Wasserfee opened the door to a new world…
I recently had the opportunity to sing Rheinberger’s Wasserfee with the Singakademie Stuttgart in a concert in Kloster Ochsenhausen. Right from the very first rehearsal this piece fascinated me. With the opening bars a landscape opened in my mind’s eye, even holding its own in the concert itself, surrounded as we were by the magnificent decor of the Monastery Library. A mood full of tension is created between the lake shrouded in mist and the whipped up love drama of the water sprite. We can immediately hear and perceive her hopeless situation, in which she demands attention and attempts to entice with her jewels jingling under the water. This piece does not tell a story, but simply expresses a mood. This is what makes the piece so special for me.
Previously I was most familiar with Rheinberger’s sacred vocal music. The secular choral works were unknown to me, and the Wasserfee opened the door to this new world. With the Rheinberger Complete Edition, it is easy to browse through these and find a wealth of exciting, curious, or even rousing works.
There are two CD recordings of Die Wasserfee in the Carus catalog. The first is performed by a solo quartet on CD 83.376/00 with other secular songs and quartets. The other is a recording by the Vocalensemble Rastatt conducted by Holger Speck on CD 83.157/00. I find this choral version particularly beautiful because of its full-sounding textures.
Philipp Schlesinger has worked at Carus since April 2016 in the IT Department. In his free time he is a keen choral singer.