29 Jul 2012

The Brothers Grimm

From Composer of the Week, 9:15 am on 29 July 2012
A portrait of the brothers Grimm

A portrait of the brothers Grimm. Right: Jacob Grimm; left: Wilhelm Grimm Photo: Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, 1855.

In 1812 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales was first published. Some of the stories were folk tales the brothers collected from a wide range of people, others re-tellings of already famous tales.

Over the last two hundred years the Grimm brothers’ stories have continuously been loved, but have also inspired music. Roger Wilson discusses works by composers including Wagner, Korngold, Rachmaninov, Orff and Sondheim, but mainly just delights in the morally equivocal world of Grimm where “witches tell the truth, nice people lie, good people die” and the dark forest is always watching.

The Grimm versions of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, The Moon, Hansel and Gretel and the Golden Goose are kind, cruel, occasionally shocking and other times just absurd... but always entertaining! Enjoy!

Roger Wilson reading the Grimm versions of some of the fairy tales


Gallery: Illustrations from the history of fairy tales

Music Details:

WAGNER: Haha! Da hatte mein Lied, from Siegfried – Vienna Phil/ Georg Solti (Decca 455 564)
KORNGOLD: Wichtelmännlein, from Märchenbilder – Ilona Prunyi (pno) (Naxos 8.223384)
RACHMANINOV: Le Chaperin Rouge, FROM Cinq Etudes-Tableaux – Cincinnati SO/ Jesús López-Cobos (Telarc CD 80396)
HUMPERDINCK: Hansel and Gretel, Overture – Bavarian Radio SO/ Jeffrey Tate (EMI CDS 7 54022)
HUMPERDINCK: Witches Ride, from Hansel and Gretel – Bavarian Radio SO/ Jeffrey Tate (EMI CDS 7 54022)
CHURCHILL/ MOREY: Whistle while you work – The Comedy Harmonists (Naxos 8.120613)
CHURCHILL/ MOREY: Dwarf’s Yodel Song – The Comedy Harmonists (Naxos 8.120613)
HURLSTONE: The witch's Death dance – LPO/ Nicholas Braithwaite (Lyrita  SRCD 208)
ROSSINI: Siete voi , from La Cenerentola - Bologna Teatro Comunale Orch/ Carlo Rizzi (Rossini Opera Festival 10033)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Waltz from Sleeping Beauty –NZSO/ Alexander Lazarev - Private
ORFF: Der Mond – Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra/ Wolfgang Sawallisch (EMI Classics 6 87638)
SONDHEIM: Finale, Into the Woods - Original Broadway Cast (RCA 356796)