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Mozart: Lieder & Klavierstücke / Güra, Berner


Release Date: 03/11/2008 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 901979   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner GüraChristoph Berner
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

From the first song, "Die Verschweigung", tenor Werner Güra assures us that we're in for a lively, engaging recital with a gorgeous, technically and expressively assured voice on full display. Güra leaves no doubt that he loves singing these songs, which include several of the more commonly performed ones--Das Lied der Trennung; Das Veilchen; Das Traumbild; An Chloë--along with lesser-known pieces, all of them worthy examples of Mozart's finest creations in a genre for which he's all-too-infrequently recognized. Several of the songs show a clear and fascinating link direct to Schubert--Das Lied der Trennung; An Chloë; Der Frühling--while others--Das Traumbild; Das Veilchen--are as purely Mozartean as Read more anything he ever wrote. Güra is so naturally expressive, so "inside" of these songs, and so able to capture and project both their tenderly lyrical character and more dramatic aspects that you easily forget most of the sopranos who usually sing them.

Among the more memorable examples of Güra's expressive vocal prowess are the superb phrasing in "Sei du mein Trost" and "Das Lied der Trennung", the marvelously varied inflections in "Der Frühling", the dramatic development in "Dans un bois solitaire", and the consummate artistry and unerring control of voice and mood in "Abendempfindung an Laura".

Some interesting and unusual piano pieces, including the Rondo in F major K. 494 (normally heard in its later incarnation in the K. 533 piano sonata), the strange D minor Fantasie K. 397, and the rarely heard G major Eine kleine Gigue K. 574, are placed throughout the recital. Christoph Berner performs them--as he does the song accompaniments--on a Streicher pianoforte, which has a very appealing, bright upper register (prominently displayed in the Rondo) and a starkly contrasting, big, thrumming lower register (vividly utilized in the Fantasie).

The performances show an opulence and attention to articulation and dynamics that revels in but doesn't abuse the full range and voice of the instrument. My only question is why Berner chose this particular piano--the Streicher instruments were not contemporaneous with Mozart and were a far more prominent part of the 19th century than the 18th. So if you're not going to employ a "real" period instrument, why not just use a modern concert grand instead? That personal quibble aside, listeners interested in some scintillating and even enlightening Mozart shouldn't miss this.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die Verschweigung, K 518 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Das Lied der Trennung, K 519 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano), Werner Güra (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3.
Wie unglücklich bin ich nit, K 147 (125g) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano), Werner Güra (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775-1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
4.
An die Einsamkeit, K 391 (340b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano), Werner Güra (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
5.
Fantasia for Piano in D minor, K 397 (385g) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
6.
Lied zur Gesellenreise, K 468 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano), Werner Güra (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
7.
Die betrogene Welt, K 474 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano), Werner Güra (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Gigue for Keyboard in G major, K 574 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
9.
Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling, K 596 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10.
Im Frühlingsanfang, K 597 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
11.
Das Veilchen, K 476 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
12.
Rondo for Piano no 2 in F major, K 494 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
13.
Das Traumbild, K 530 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14.
Dans un bois solitaire, K 308 (295b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777-1778; Mannheim, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
15.
Variations (6) for Piano in G major on Salieri's "Mio caro Adone", K 180 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 
16.
An Chloë, K 524 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
17.
Die Zufriedenheit, K 473 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Christoph Berner (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
18.
Abendempfindung, K 523 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christoph Berner (Fortepiano), Werner Güra (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 

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