A fascinating exponent of the Lied in the interwar period, Austrian composer Hans Gál (1890-1987) was one of that enormously gifted and far-seeing generation of composers who suffered under the rise of Nazism. After studying in Vienna and teaching in Mainz, he did not flee to America like many of his contemporaries, but escaped to the United Kingdom, preceded by fellow refugee composer Berthold Goldschmidt. Aided by eminent musicologist Donald Tovey, Edinburgh became Gál’s home for the rest of his long life.

Hans Gal

Gál only published one set of Lieder during his lifetime, “laying aside” a host of other settings that have only come to light thanks to the persistence of baritone Christian Immler and his accompanist Helmut Deutsch. They eventually persuaded Gál’s daughter that these Lieder were worth performing, despite the composer having consigned them to a box labelled “Resquiescant in pace”. (Gál was ferociously self-critical, having destroyed hundreds of youthful songs.)

In this captivating recital, 26 unpublished songs are presented along with the five from Op. 33 published in 1929. They reveal Gál thoroughly acquainted with the Lieder...