Where Corals Lie (2018)

Wagner, Mahler, Elgar

Ruth Willemse, Vital Stahievitch

Ruth Willemse: “The songs of Elgar, Mahler and Wagner expose these fears, but in the end they also bring hope and consolation. Nature seems at times to be a reflection of our human inner world. Something similar happens in the music, where the emotional connection with this interior world is extremely direct. For me this consolation lies in the feeling of recognition that can be found in the music”.

When Mathilde Wesendonck gives thanks to Nature at the end of Schmerzen for the realisation that joy and sorrow continually alternate, Wagner bathes her words in a glorious postlude. The end of Rückert’s Um Mitternacht is enveloped by Mahler with similar hope-laden sonorities. Elgar takes his singer to an optimistic high A on the word ‘love’ at the conclusion of The Swimmer and brings her through troubled waters to the point ‘where no love wanes’. 

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Ruth Willemse

Dutch mezzo Ruth Willemse studied at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and graduated at the Prince Claus Conservatory in June 2013. As a singer with a strong and easy high register, she is currently moving into the higher mezzo Fach in the French, German and Italian repertoire.

Ruth Willemse regularly gives song recitals at concert halls in the Netherlands and abroad and festivals such as the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival. Her repertoire includes German Lieder, French mélodies and English song, with works such as Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder and Schumann’s Lieder der Maria Stuart.

In concert, Ruth Willemse can be heard in mezzo- and contralto-roles in Mozart’s C-Minor Mass, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. She sang Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

At Dutch National Opera, she debuted as Maddalena in Reimsreisje (an adaptation of Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims for children). At Dutch Touring Opera, she could be heard as both the Old Lady and Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide, Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Berta in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other roles include Miss Todd in Barber’s The Old Maid and the Thief, Concepcion in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare (the latter under the baton of Michael Chance). At the Royal Concertgebouw, she participated in a concert performance of Madama Butterfly. Ruth Willemse has performed several times on Dutch national radio.

Ruth Willemse participated in a Wagner masterclass by Nadine Secunde, Dunja Vejzovic, Siegfried Jerusalem and Wolfgang Brendel. Moving into the Zwischenfach/Falcon repertoire due to her strong top register, she is currently preparing roles such as Brangäne, Venus, Vitellia, Komponist, Cleopâtre (Massenet) and Desdemona (Rossini’s Otello). 

Ruth Willemse studies with Marion van den Akker and Nadine Secunde.

photo: from booklet 'Where Corals Lie'

Vital Stahievitch

Pianist Vital Stahievitch was born in Minsk. He graduated from Republican Music College and from Belarusian Academy of Music under the guidance of Professor Zoya Kacharskaya.

He has taken part in numerous national and international festivals. He frequently appears in many cities in Belarus as a soloist, with orchestras and various chamber groups. He performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the most of European countries, America and Japan. 

Vital has recorded numerous albums with the music of Schubert, Chopin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Scarlatti. Vital Stahievitch is a prize winner at international competitions in Vilnius, Minsk, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Taranto, and Marianske Lazne.

In 2007 Vital completed the Master Degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, his piano teacher was Håkon Austbø. Since 2013 Vital Stahievitch has been teaching at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

photo: from booklet 'Where Corals Lie'

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Where Corals Lie (2018)

Wagner, Mahler, Elgar

Ruth Willemse, Vital Stahievitch

Mastering Engineer: Daan van Aalst
Producer: Daan van Aalst
Recording Engineer: Daan van Aalst
Recording location: Recording Studio Drenthe, Valthermond, Holland on July 16-18, 2018

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KTC1639: Where Corals Lie
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Tracks.
1.
Sea Pictures - Sea Slumber-Song
Elgar
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2.
Sea Pictures - In Haven - Capri
Elgar
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3.
Sea Pictures - Sabbath Morning at Sea
Elgar
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4.
Sea Pictures - Where Corals Lie
Elgar
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5.
Sea Pictures - The Swimmer
Elgar
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6.
Ruckert Lieder - Liebst du um Schoenheit
Mahler
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7.
Ruckert Lieder - Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder
Mahler
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8.
Ruckert Lieder - Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
Mahler
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9.
Ruckert Lieder - Ich atmeti einen linden Duft
Mahler
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10.
Ruckert Lieder - Um Mitternacht
Mahler
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11.
Wesendonck Lieder - Der Engel
Wagner
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12.
Wesendonck Lieder - Stehe Still
Wagner
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13.
Wesendonck Lieder - Im Treibhaus
Wagner
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14.
Wesendonck Lieder - Schmerzen
Wagner
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15.
Wesendonck Lieder - Traume
Wagner
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