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I brauch kan Pflanz

I brauch kan Pflanz
Source: Preiser Records

A live recording of a highly acclaimed evening shown already for more than a dozen times at the Vienna Akademietheater, and transferred in mid-March 2011 to the Burgtheater.

 

Viennese literature and music. Texts by Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Altenberg, Josef Kainz, Peter Rosegger, Egon Friedell, Roda Roda, Friedrich Torberg, Ernst Jandl amongst others.

Viennese songs and German versions of classical French chansons but also a very special Viennese interpretation of John Kander’s famous „New York – New York“.

 

Michael Heltau
Audio Sample (currently unavailable)
LINK to PreiserRecords 
LINK to AMAZON.DE (currently unavailable)

Best of Brel

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Source: Preiser Records
When I'm writing a chanson I do it black-and-white. But from time to time there is a colourful word to which I lent a new dimension.           
Jacques Brel

I've started with Brel in German. I got to know him many years ago in Antwerp and he said that I had to sing his chansons and now I've hold the performing rights from him. Of his last record I was given the exclusive right to sing the chansons which means not only that I may sing them in German but that they are sung only by him and by me. This is a very great honour for me, and I was very happy.

Michael Heltau
Audio Sample
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Wienerische Lieder

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Source: Preiser Records
The Viennese dialect is a blood brother of  music and it is able to obtain when paired with music the most unmendacious and most perplexing effects. On the record in question, Michael Heltau knows to sing about this. He is the beloved hero in Schnitzler's and Hofmannsthal's plays, Giorgio Strehler's King Henry, the German herald of Jacques Brel, a melancholic Punch and a laughing crocodile, as an interpreter he is a great catch for each difficult author: awake, humble, self-conscious and professional.

The Viennese language has found in him a long sought after master in a long time orphaned branch: a singing actor of sad nuances. Vienna isn't rich in urbane or sophisticated figures; Michael Heltau is one of these.

André Heller

Audio Sample
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Statt zu Spielen

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Source: Preiser Records
A live recording of this most celebrated evening with Michael Heltau and the Viennese Theatre Musicians at the Vienna Burgtheater.

With songs and texts by Jacques Brel, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Ralph Benatzky, Charles Chaplin, Joseph Lanner, Loek Huisman, Heinrich von Kleist, Friedrich Hollaender, Paul Abraham, Charles Trenet, Arthur Schnitzler, Jerry Herman, Johann Strauss amongst others.

LINK to AMAZON.DE

Servus du

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Source: Preiser Records
Entertainment should be treated like a nature reserve. Nobody is allowed to fish, because they are little works of art.

These songs, these texts, this atmosphere does not need any explanation. For more than half a century they are measures never reached. These songs are flirts. I adore them! The possible dimensions of this genre I comprehend by listening to records by Fritzi Massary. To her I dedicate this CD.

Michael Heltau

Audio Sample
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Operette Sich Wer Kann

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Source: Preiser Records
A live recording at the Theater an der Wien

A homage to Viennese operetta Haute couture and not ready-made.   Works by Ralph Benatzky, Franz Lehár, Johann Strauss, Robert Stolz, Emmerich Kálmán, and Paul Abraham.   What is a sleepwalking transition, how to harmonize a slur or a rhythmic refinement, how to accelerate the pulse by a little delay - this art is mastered supremely well by Michael Heltau and his musicians.

Wilhelm Sinkovicz, “Die Presse” (Vienna)
 
 
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Statt zu Singen

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Source: Preiser Records
Psalms, ballads, songs

A live recording at the Vienna Konzerthaus   "... a performance you could not pass by indifferently, an outstanding evening in any sense of the word and the slogan about the boundless applause became real...

“Arbeiter-Zeitung” (Vienna)
Audio Sample
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Michael Heltau spricht Lieder der Romantik

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Source: Preiser Records
Poems by Eduard Mörike, Nikolaus Lenau, Joseph von Eichendorff, Heinrich Heine and Wilhelm Müller ("Die schöne Müllerin", "Winterreise")

Romantic poetry – an attempt to escape.
This I discovered working on this programme.
The idyllic “Biedermeier” you won’t find it.
Everywhere you can feel the threatening precipice.
All thoughts and emotions are about change.
There’s no certitude at all.
These poets are our contemporaries.

Michael Heltau

Audio Sample LINK to PreiserRecords
LINK to AMAZON.DE(special edition)

Balladen, Romanzen, Unglaubliches

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Source: Preiser Records
Michael Heltau is able to fill a public with enthusiasm for classical texts... on stage there is a distinguished gentleman in his prime but something strange happens during the passing of the evening. A young hero stands in front of us, a wise old Mr Ribbeck in Havelland, Bertolt Brecht in the Munich Deutsches Museum, even a dog full of virtues. Economical is Heltau only as far as stage props are concerned.

Norbert Meyer, "Die Presse" (Vienna)

Audio Sample
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Philharmonische Capriolen

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Source: Preiser Records
Amusing tales of conductors, musicians and instruments

Music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Josef Lanner, Johann Strauss. Stories collected by the Vienna Philharmonic player Camillo Öhlberger.
A live recording of a charity concert on 10 April 1994.

Audio Sample
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Rainer Maria Rilke, Das Stundenbuch

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Source: Preiser Records
Michael Heltau has been engaged with these texts for years.

He has recited the poems in public several times, at the Ossiach Festival, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and at the Berlin Ensemble. As early as 1975, Heltau made a recording of Rilke's novel "Malte Laurids Brigge" for Deutsche Grammophone. This CD is similarly a studio recording.

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Radetzkymarsch

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Source: Diogenes
His grandfather had saved the emperor's life at the battle of Solferino. His father is a faithful official of the k. and k. monarchy. But Carl Joseph von Trotta, grandson of the "hero of Solferino" and an office contre Coeur, is very sensible and soft. As all the old certitudes crumble away he searches for diversion in gambling, alcohol, and with women. A picture of three generations, a portrait of splendour and the decline of the Hapsburg Empire. This novel is Joseph Roth's masterpiece.
"It is just the most beautiful book in the world. The most sad, the most sentimental, the most astonishing. It's a miracle."

Volker Weidermann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Die Kapuzinergruft

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Source: ORF
When ORF issued Joseph Roth's „Kapuzinergruft" on CD,

Michael Heltau wrote: "To read in public is no one-way street. On the contrary. An intimate concentration on texts without any patronising by illustrations gives the audience a chance to discover the fancy. Of course this is also my ideal for working as an actor on stage. To avoid overwhelming the listener's fancies! This side of our profession comparable with chamber music has been the most thrilling part. When I'm reading in public I want to seduce someone to literature."   "The Kapuzinergruft" is the sequel to Roth's great novel "Radetzkymarsch". The novel opens at the end of World War I and leads up to the annexation of Austria in 1938.

Die Geschichte von der 1002. Nacht

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Source: Diogenes
On a state visit to Vienna, the Shah of Iran wants to pass a night with the beautiful married Countess W. A delicate diplomatic situation! But Colonel Taittinger remembers a lover. Little Mizzi Schinagl from Sievering who looks like the Countess. An elegant solution for the Court, but for Mizzi who is still in love with Taittinger a One Thousand and Second Night with further consequences. Her reward, a valuable pearl necklace, becomes fatal for her as well as for Taittinger.

LINK to AMAZON.DE

Die Leiden des jungen Werther

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Source: Preiser Records
"Die Leiden des jungen Werther" was Michael Heltau's first recording, now available on CD. In June 1964 he agreed after an extraordinary success in reading part of the Goethe novel in public to go into the studio to repeat this for the microphone.

His being involved with Goethe has never ended. In 1968, he played young Goethe in a play by Loek Huisman which was put on not only in Vienna but from coast to coast in the United States, Canada and Israel. In 1976, he performed at the Salzburg Festival an evening entitled "Des Pudels Kern", he read Goethe at the Piccolo teatro di Milano in cooperation with Giorgio Strehler, he took part in concerts of  Beethoven's music and Goethe's lyrics of "Egmont", and he presided the Weimar Goethe Festival. Goethe is a lifelong theme for Michael Heltau.

Die kleine Komödie

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Source: Preiser Records
A largely unknown novel in letters by Arthur Schnitzler written in his early days.

One might find all of the author's qualities here already. Psychology, playing with identities, erotic attraction, a very precise language when depicting various social milieus. And last, but not least, a great sense of humour. In a one-act play Schnitzler defines the famous formula for all this: "Wir spielen immer, wer es weiß, ist klug." (We all play our roles, but the one who is conscious of this fact is the smartest.)

LINK to AMAZON.DE