Max Kowalski, Opus 11, Sechs Liebeslieder Aus Dem Rokoko
D.J. Abbamont & Glenn Tiedemann

© Copyright - Public Domain / Lilredhen (887516007064)
Release Date : 2012
1. Damöt 1:52
2. An Phyllis 0:59
3. Das Kind 1:01
4. Rosette 1:40
5. Die Lügenhafte Phyllis 1:30
6. Phyllis an Damon 2:39

Album Notes

Six Liebeslieder (Love Songs) from the Rokoko (Baroque) were written by Max Kowalski and published in 1921 by N. Simrock, Berlin. He dedicated these very high and lighthearted songs to the then famous coloratura opera singer, Maria Ivogun.

Max Kowalski(1882-1956) was born in Kowal, Poland. His family moved the next year to Frankfort, Germany, where he grew up, studied and earned Doctorates in both Music and Law (his specialty was Copyrights). His teacher of compostition was Bernhard Sekles and voice, Alexander Heineman. In Germany from 1913 till 1931, Max Kowalski was a prolific composer of beautiful lieder in the Romantic style. Although he was Jewish, Max Kowalski wrote music of all styles and genres, from Japanese, Chinese, Danish, Arabic, French and that of many great German authors, he even wrote a Marienlieder in his Opus 12. He was friend to many other composers, artists and performers and every song cycle he wrote was quickly published until Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich took over the country. In the late 30's Kowalski was very involved with the "Kulterbund" in Frankfort, Germany and his music continued to have popularity in their orchestral concerts. He is mentioned and highlighted by his presence at the last Kulturbund concert(1938) in Martin Goldsmith's book entitled "The Inextinguishable Symphony". By the end of 1938, Kowalski was arrested and spent time in Buchenwald but within a month he was released and he fled to England where he spent the rest of his life teaching voice, singing in a Synagogue and making a humble living. Although no music of his was ever published again, he kept writing new works, 17 new song cycles in manuscripts which singers performed in concerts and on radio. Opus 1 is his first composition dated 1913 and first published by Leukart in Germany. It had been out-of-print many years until Dr. Walter Foster of Recital Publications in Huntsville, Texas took up the committment to bring as many of Max Kowalski's song cycles to the public as possible. So far, 11 of his 17 previously published cycles have been reprinted.

D.J. Abbamont, Soprano: A New Jersey performer, originally from Whippany. Studies at Westminster Choir College and Montclair State were under Hye Young Choi, Susan Robinson, Alice Parker, David York, Charles Schisler, Augusta Borrois, Lois Laverty, David Randolph, Ting Ho and Martin Bate. Worked not only in the field of Oratorio (Masterwork Chorus under David Randolph) and with Contemporary Christian Music but performed in popular music venues such as “The Entertainers” a Dixieland Band. As well as being a piano and voice instructor, Abbamont’s great joy is in serving a music ministry involved in "The Jesus Story" produced by Bible Baptist Passion Play Ministries. In her own words “If by my singing these love songs, then the persecution which Max Kowalski suffered can hopefully begin to heal. “

Glenn Tiedemann, Organist, Composer, Arranger, A native of New Jersey, his musical studies included Richard Paige Eckstein (Theory), Ralph Kneeream, David Randolph (Choral Music, German Diction) and Ting Ho (Theory and Composition) Has served as Organist Choir Director for the Belleville Reformed Church, Belleville, New Jersey, Central Brick Presbyterian Church in East Orange, and Brookdale Reformed Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey. In addition to his organist/director duties, Mr Tiedemann has been a very active church member and has worked as a member of the Advisory Board for a new hymnal for use in both the Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church in America with denominations throughout the USA and Canada. Publication date is set for 2013.

In his own words “I am a lover of the human voice; from the effortlessly floating melodies and open harmonies of Gregorian Chant thru the nearly acrobatic melodies of the Mozart Aria. I also love the rich sounds and expansive harmonies of the Romantic Symphony and Piano Concerti; such as Rachmaninoff & Mahler. Max Kowalski's Music contains elements of all of the above - a brilliant composer who is truly worthy of being remembered.”

Sechs Liebeslieder

These Six Love Songs, tell the story of a young girl as she discovers love. In the course of these six songs she goes from shyness through confusion to full embrace of the affection of her suitors.
Interpretive translation by Glenn Henry Tiedemann.

  1. "Damöt", by Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Gleim - a suitor is telling the target of his affection about how painful it is to love her and not have her respond to him. She does find his feelings to be expressed beautifully in his words; but before she could do or say anything, her Mother appears and puts an end to it all! His sighing makes her want to run away, but the thought of losing Cupid´s blessing of this affair made her stay. If her Mother had not appeared, well that is how it was ended!
  2. "An Phyllis", also by Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Gleim - the suitor entreats Phyllis to help him search for young violets under the bushes. She declares if they must look long under such shadows reasons to find them, she will upon finding them, recline there with him.
  3. "Das Kind", by Friedrich von Hagedorn - the young girl is caught kissing the neighbor´s son, by her Mother who reprimands her by first scrubbing the kiss from her cheek and then lecturing her to see how others behave! Her confusion arises upon seeing her Mother giggling as her Father stole a kiss from her Mother. She begs her sisters to be honest with her, is she too little to be kissed? and to see how she has matured since the neighbor´s son first called her his little sweetie.
  4. "Rosette", by Heinrich Christian Boie - the suitor is desperately coveting the mere glance of Rosette as acknowledgement of his devotion and faithfulness to her. She responds after hearing his sighs by saying, "Only Hopefulness nourishes Love". He has many varied dreams but does not wish them to be only a part of her life.
  5. "Die lügenhafte Phyllis", by Lessing - the suitor tells a very tongue-in-cheek story of punishment-reward for Phyllis´s lies. Note that the German word 'strafe' can have connotations from 'being bombarded' to a 'side-ways swipe'. I take it the suitor is threatening a mere 'brush against her cheek' of which she wants more and therefore resigns herself to always lying. She then begs her sisters to explain it all.
  6. "Phyllis an Damon", by Ewald von Kleist - here the suitor, Damon, will find that the previously hard-hearted Phyllis has been worn down by his constancy. At first she is overwhelmed by her feelings. She fears the fire she feels welling up in her blood will consume her. She then beckons to him to come to her, the one whom she has chosen! Her soul is ready to float from her lips through all of his jests and kisses in order to flow into him.