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Schoenberg: Gurrelieder / Jansons, Voigt, Fujimura, Andersen, Pecoraro

Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Br Klassik   Catalog #: 900110  
Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Stig AndersenDeborah VoigtHerwig PecoraroMihoko Fujimura,   ... 
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony OrchestraLeipzig Radio ChorusNorth German Radio Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"In this particular incarnation the conductor is Mariss Jansons, often criticized for leading glossy performances that are exciting but lacking detail, but here it is precisely his reticence to overplay the music that, for me, makes it work. I also think that the tremendous technical improvement in orchestra playing over the years removes some of the nervousness that musicians have projected in it. Stig Andersen (Waldemar) is an older tenor whose voice is slightly unsteady in emission, not a full-fledged wobble but a persistent flutter, yet his tone is quite pleasant, his vocal size fairly large but sensitively shaded, his interpretation lyrical and less strenuous than Althouse, McCracken, or Jerusalem. Indeed, he reminds me at times Read more of Alberto Remedios, one of my favorite Heldentenors of the 1970s. Even with his slight flaws, his singing of “Herrgott, weisst du, was du tatest” is the finest I’ve ever heard, heartfelt yet well controlled. As usual, Deborah Voigt takes a while to warm up, her opening scenes sounding a bit infirm and her high range a trifle shrill, but she sings well by the time she gets to “Nun sag ich dir.” Listeners more critical than I should remember that this score is far more difficult in tessitura and overall vocal line than anything Wagner or Mahler ever wrote; it is, indeed, quite cruel to the voice, which is perhaps another reason I’ve always had difficulties with the music. Voigt isn’t much of an interpreter, but she sings without overdone accents or suggestions of Sprechstimme. Her voice is not as creamy as Norman’s, but it has more bite and is less wobbly than Dunn’s.

Yet it is Jansons’ musical conception that makes this performance work so well. He does not miss the crescendos or orchestral details in such spots as “Ross! Mein Ross!” or the orchestral interludes, but, again, his consistent legato minimizes some of the music’s bombast, and at several moments in the score the music almost seems to float in a manner reminiscent of Debussy, which is a good thing. In addition, his long view of the score knits the disparate sections together in a better way than I’ve ever heard before. There are still some portions of the score that I don’t particularly like, but overall he makes more musical sense than many others. The chorus, singing in back of the orchestra, sounds superb without overloading its sound.

I’d be remiss not to pay a compliment to the editor of the accompanying booklet. Not only is it beautifully laid out, but it includes biographical details on Jansons, a page of the autograph score, and a clear, readable English translation alongside the German text. Because of this, we are spared the idiocy of onscreen subtitles, which makes the viewing experience more like being at the concert."

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley


Arnold Schoenberg

Tove – Deborah Voigt
Wood-Dove – Mihoko Fujimura
Waldemar – Stig Andersen
Jester – Herwig Pecoraro
Peasant / Speaker – Michael Volle

NDR Chor
MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig
Chor- and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Mariss Jansons, conductor

Recorded live in the 60th Anniversary Concert of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks at the Munich Philharmonie, 22-23 September 2009.

- Introduction to Gurre-Lieder
- Interviews with the artists
- Printed sung text in the booklet

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo 2.0 / DTS 5.0
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Running time: 125 mins
No. of DVDs: 1
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Works on This Recording

Gurrelieder by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Stig Andersen (Tenor), Deborah Voigt (Soprano), Herwig Pecoraro (Tenor),
Mihoko Fujimura (Alto), Michael Volle (Baritone)
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  North German Radio Chorus  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900-1911; Vienna, Austria 

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