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Schumann: Dichterliebe, Etc / Gerhaher, Huber


Release Date: 01/11/2005 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 58995   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian GerhaherGerhard Huber
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Christian Gerhaher has a strong baritone voice, even throughout its range, with a ringing top that lends a welcome sense of excitement to his singing. He also has the technique and breath control to take long phrases in a single span, and to color his voice to fit the text, sometimes honing it down to a bare whisper, caressing it with a velvety texture, or expressing forte exclamations without a hint of harshness. Perhaps more important, he has a masterful understanding of the style of the Romantic lied, magnificently exemplified in this recording of Schumann songs. And of special importance to those like myself who cringe at the vogue for overemphasis and preciousness that's infected so many lieder
Read more singers since the 1960s, the man doesn't declaim, doesn't distort, doesn't pull phrases about, and doesn't put every innocent line or syllable into 48-point boldface. He sings!


All of these qualities make his Dichterliebe a marvelous performance. He demonstrates that a fine singer can capture the anger innate to "Ich grolle nicht" while also conveying regret at the necessity of his defiance. That ability to capture nuance without violating a song's nature is the essence of the art of lieder singing. There's a lot of regret and sadness in Dichterliebe, as in virtually all of the songs on this disc, which might have been titled "Love Means Suffering". In the three songs of Der Arme Peter, the poor sap attends his beloved's wedding, climbs to a mountain-top to cry, and ghostlike, marches to his grave. All this grim stuff begins with an ironic wedding dance and never fully loses the suspicion that Schumann is parodying his own Dichterliebe cycle. Only the finale of the disc, an encore as it were, is free from this theme of unrequited love--the narrative ballad "Belsatzar", which Gerhaher sings with power. He paints the arrogant king of Babylon through the music, and then in a dazed voice depicts the stricken king trembling with fear at the "handwriting on the wall".


Throughout this superb recital Gerhaher is well accompanied by pianist Gerold Huber, whose postludes and frequent small but expressive solos within songs are as accomplished as is his support for the singer. Engineering is well-balanced, warm, and detailed. Text and translations are provided along with knowledgable commentary on the songs. Just in case you're in doubt, I loved this disc. [2/3/2005]
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Dichterliebe, Op. 48 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian Gerhaher (Baritone), Gerhard Huber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Bavarian Music Studios, Munich, Germany 
Length: 30 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Gedichte (7), Op. 90 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian Gerhaher (Baritone), Gerhard Huber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Bavarian Music Studios, Munich, Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Gesänge (3), Op. 31: no 1, Die Löwenbraut by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian Gerhaher (Baritone), Gerhard Huber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Bavarian Music Studios, Munich, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Romances and Ballades iii, Op. 53: no 3, Der arme Peter by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Gerhard Huber (Piano), Christian Gerhaher (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Bavarian Music Studios, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Belsatzar, Op. 57 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian Gerhaher (Baritone), Gerhard Huber (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Bavarian Music Studios, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 

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