Saturday 19 July 2008

René Pape: Mein herz brennt

Dresden native René Pape´s first solo-CD "Mein Herz Brennt" (tr: My heart burns), released 2003, is a symphonic song cycle based on songs by Rammstein - a German post-industrial gothic metal band I used to listen to excessively during my metal-phase some years ago.

Composer Torsten Rasch has taken nine of Rammstein´s songs and given them an early 20th century expressionistic treatment for symphonic orchestra, most notably influenced by more than a touch of Schönberg´s Verklärte Nacht as well as by Alban Berg. Yet his musical language remains individual and the result is very beautiful.

Torsten Rasch spent two years and numerous auditions looking for a singer for this cycle, until someone suggested René Pape, actually a friend of his from their childhood days in the Dresden Kreuzchor. René Pape is accompanied by actress Katharina Thalbach, whose guttural, Gollum-like voice is a stunning contrast to his own, simply gorgeous voice here.

Torsten Rasch sums it up pretty accurately: "René's voice is just beautiful. It goes from the finest pianissimo to the most shattering power. He has an amazing range in transmitting a certain state of mind, be it sadness, anger, joy, whatever."

René Pape: "It's not music I would listen to every day, but it's very interesting - and I really liked the idea of turning Industrial metal music into contemporary orchestra music."

René Pape and Katharina Thalbach will perform Mein Herz Brennt with the London Philharmonic Orchestra May 2009 in London.

Highly recommended. The below comparative extracts will give an idea of what to expect:


Mutter (René Pape):

Mein Herz Brennt (Rammstein):

Mein Herz Brennt (René Pape):


Parsifal said...

RAMMSTEIN???? OMG !!!! They re totally cool (do i sound like a 15 year old?). Wow, the other day i was watching a concert of theirs where the microphones were on fire! Rene Pape should try that too!

mostly opera... said...

Yeah..they are really cool. I remember when I went to all these metal concerts and had tinnitus and hearing loss for days after..
Rammstein, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins. That was really something. Have to find my old CDs

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I've had the Rasch/Pape version for awhile, but never got up the nerve to listen to Rammstein -- it wasn't so painful :~). Btw I already have my ticket for the LSO in May.

Anonymous said...


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