In 1978, British progressive-rock musician Jeff Wayne released an album called Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds in which the story – and the songs – are interspersed by narration.
Today’s Brahms CD reminded me of that album because it, too, is a song cycle interspersed by narration.
Granted, the narration on Brahms CD 47 is in German so I can’t understand a word of it. But it’s narration nonetheless.
Romanzen Op. 33 (30 tracks)
Hartmut Volle narrator
Michael Volle baritone
Adrian Baianu piano
According to the Gramophone web site:
Brahm’s Magelone Lieder have, with a few exceptions, never been among his most popular, perhaps because they relate too closely to the somewhat scented romanticism of Tieck’s novella. Performances of the cycle are rare, performances with narrator are still rarer…
The IMSLP web site indicates that this was written in 1861-1869. Kind of vague. If it’s true, Brahms was 28-36.
Which, incidentally, was the same age as Jeff Wayne was when he created his War of the Worlds album.