Hugo Wolf

SUSAN DUNN, soprano

2-CD Set



"These 53 songs are exquisite examples of pregnant creativity found in small packages; Wolf’s lieder are never long, but contain a world of emotion in few notes that are highly concentrated and perfectly suited to the text at hand. Susan Dunn, one of the great Verdi sopranos of the last 30 years and now in charge of the opera department at Duke University, has long wanted to record this with one of her early mentors, pianist John Wustman, and that the opportunity was afforded is all to our benefit as she sings with great affection and marvelous expression. Baritone Thomas Potter, no slouch himself, takes the reins when a male perspective is called for. All in all this is a wonderful set that does great honor to Wolf and gives us much pleasure from first to last. Brava!"
Steve Ritter, Audiophile Audition - December 2011 [ 5/5 Stars ]
"That these recordings are treasurable should come as no surprise to Atlantans who remember Ms. Dunn’s terrific performances in our city and her Telarc recordings... Her voice has been described as a spinto soprano, one who combines the limpidity and high notes of a lyric soprano with the power of a dramatic soprano to push on to a dramatic climax without undue strain. These qualities, plus an intelligence that divines the heart of a song and builds up to it unerringly, make her an ideal Wolf interpreter."
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta - March 2011
In the late 1970s, John Wustman came to Indiana University as a guest faculty member. He chose the Mörike-Lieder as the focus of his first semester. After several classes, I worked up the courage to sing Schlafendes Jesuskind for him. His comment as I finished was, “I think we can make something of this.” Thus began our relationship as mentor/accompanist and singer. As my career began and John and I appeared in concert together, I began to dream of recording the Mörike-Lieder with him. From that dream was born a concert presenting all fifty-three songs in two evenings at Duke University. Thomas Potter, my friend and a fellow student of Mr. Wustman, served as our baritone voice for the songs that required the masculine perspective.

The Mörike-Lieder, composed in less than nine months of white-hot inspiration, provide the singer with an incredible array of color, character and vocal challenges. As the singer manages technical and interpretive complexities, the accompanist navigates an arduous path of pianistic virtuosity. At first I was drawn to the eight religiously themed songs, but I have come to embrace the naughty Erstes Liebeslied eines Mädchens, the gently humorous Rat einer Alten, the tragic An Eine Äolsharfe, and the moody Die Geister am Mummelsee. Moerike’s poetry is by turns sensual, humorous, mournful, and eerie, but always evocative. Wolf, using a harmonic language akin to that of Wagner, but without the long-windedness, manages to capture the heart of each poem, often distilling the essence into a few measures — a couple of intense pages. After years of studying the Mörike-Lieder together and separately, John, Thomas and I offer this recording. Our hope is that the listener will fall in love with them just as we have. 
October 2010
Grammy Award-winning soprano Susan Dunn has received international critical acclaim as a true Verdi soprano, and has proven her versatility through widely admired performances of Wagner, Mahler, Strauss and Wolf. Dunn has demonstrated her extraordinary gifts on the world’s most challenging stages: La Scala in Milan, New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Vienna State Opera, among many others. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Il Trovatore in February 1990, and has worked with the world’s preeminent conductors, including Sir Georg Solti, Riccardo Chailly, Claudio Abbado, James Conlon, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim. Miss Dunn’s recordings include a recital of arias by Verdi, Beethoven and Wagner, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder (singing Tove) and Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied, all with conductor Riccardo Chailly [London-Decca]; Act I of Wagner’s Die Walküre with Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony [Telarc]; and a renowned recording of Verdi’s Requiem with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony [Telarc]. Commercially available videos of her operatic appearances include Verdi’s Giovanna D’Arco and I Vespri Siciliani. In addition to her current performing schedule, Miss Dunn serves as head of the vocal and opera programs at Duke University.
With more than twenty-five years of experience as a professional opera singer, Verdi baritone and seasoned voice instructor, Thomas Potter has shared the stage with great artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kurt Moll, Dolora Zajick and Deborah Voigt, to name a few. A graduate of Indiana University, where his voice teachers were Signor Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and Madame Virginia Zeani, Potter began his professional career with a multi-year contract at the San Francisco Opera Center. Then, after several years in New York, he enjoyed many years of singing in the Stadttheatre in St. Gallen, Switzerland, also singing regularly in Italy, France, Germany, Brazil and Spain. Mr. Potter is currently the Voice and Choral Area Coordinator at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, where he directs the UCF Opera program and teaches undergraduate and graduate level voice lessons as well as courses in Diction for Singers and the International Phonetic Alphabet [IPA].
Pianist, vocal coach, accompanist and teacher John Wustman has appeared in the leading concert halls of five continents, with some of the greatest singers from the latter half of the 20th century, including Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Birgit Nilsson, Regine Crespin, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda and Carlo Bergonzi. Career highlights include a series of televised recitals with Luciano Pavarotti, including the tenor’s first recital from the Metropolitan Opera House in 1978, and his recording of Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov songs with Irina Arkhipova that won the Grand Prix du Disque. As a professor of music at the University of Illinois, Wustman, now a Professor Emeritus, founded the university’s vocal coaching and accompanying program in 1973. He taught master classes in German Lieder in Uruguay, Peru, and Argentina as part of a Fulbright Commission and was awarded the 2000 World of Song Award by the board of directors of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation. Most recently, Wustman was named the 2008-09 Robert L. Jones Distinguished Professor of Music at East Carolina University.
1.   No.1 - Der Genesene an die Hoffnung (March 6, 1888)
2.   No.2 - Der Knabe und das Immlein  (February 22, 1888)
3.   No.3 - Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag (February 22, 1888)
4.   No.4 - Jägerlied  (February 22, 1888)
5.   No.5 - Der Tambour (February 16, 1888)
6.   No.6 - Er ist’s!  (May 15, 1888)
7.   No.7 - Das verlassene Mägdlein (March 24, 1888)
8.   No.8 - Begegnung  (March 22, 1888)
9.   No.9 - Nimmersatte Liebe  (February 24, 1888)
10. No.10 - Fussreise  (March 21, 1888)
11. No.11 - An eine Äolsharfe  (April 15, 1888)
12. No.12 - Verborgenheit  (March 13, 1888)
13. No.13 - Im Frühling  (May 8, 1888)
14. No.14 - Agnes  (May 3, 1888)
15. No.15 - Auf einer Wanderung  (March 11/25, 1888)
16. No.16 - Elfenlied  (March 7, 1888)
17. No.17 - Der Gärtner  (March 7, 1888)
18. No.18 - Zitronenfalter im April  (March 6, 1888)
19. No.19 - Um Mitternacht  (April 20, 1888)
20. No.20 - Auf eine Christblume I  (November 26, 1888)
21. No.21 - Auf eine Christblume II  (April 21, 1888)
22. No.22 - Seufzer  (April 12, 1888)
23. No.23 - Auf ein altes Bild  (April 14, 1888)
24. No.24 - In der Frühe  (May 5, 1888)
25. No.25 - Schlafendes Jesuskind  (October 6, 1888)
26. No.26 - Karwoche  (October 8, 1888)
1. No.27 - Zum neuen Jahr  (October 5, 1888)
2. No.28 - Gebet  (March 13, 1888)
3. No.29 - An den Schlaf after Heinrich Meibom (October 4, 1888)
4. No.30 - Neue Liebe  (October 4, 1888)
5. No.31 - Wo find’ ich Trost  (October 6, 1888)
6. No.32 - An die Geliebte  (October 11, 1888)
7. No.33 - Peregrina I  (April 28, 1888)
8. No.34 - Peregrina II  (April 30, 1888)
9. No.35 - Frage und Antwort  (March 29, 1888)
10. No.36 - Lebe wohl  (March 31, 1888)
11. No.37 - Heimweh  (April 1, 1888)
12. No.38 - Lied vom Winde  (February 29, 1888)
13. No.39 - Denk’ es, o Seele!  (March 10, 1888)
14. No.40 - Der Jäger  (February 23, 1888)
15. No.41 - Rat einer Alten  (March 22, 1888)
16. No.42 - Erstes Liebeslied eines Mädchens  (March 20, 1888)
17. No.43 - Lied eines Verliebten  (March 14, 1888)
18. No.44 - Der Feuerreiter  (October 10, 1888)
19. No.45 - Nixe Binsefuss  (May 13, 1888)
20. No.46 - Gesang Weylas  (October 9, 1888)
21. No.47 - Die Geister am Mummelsee  (May 18, 1888)
22. No.48 - Storchenbotschaft  (March 27, 1888)
23. No.49 - Zur Warnung  (February 25, 1888)
24. No.50 - Auftrag  (February 25, 1888)
25. No.51 - Bei einer Trauung  (March 1, 1888)
26. No.52 - Selbstgeständnis  (March 17, 1888)
27. No.53 - Abschied  (March 8, 1888)

MSR Classics