The sixth volume in Matthias Goerne's survey of Franz Schubert's lieder includes the posthumous collection Schwanengesang, which contains some of the loveliest and most disturbing songs Schubert ever composed. One problem in performing this ambiguous work of Schubert's last year lies in its alternation of sweet, lyrical songs with those of a much darker and even frightening character, and it's left to the singer and the pianist to balance the moods and to make the contrasts of expression as subtle as possible. Goerne and his accompanist Christoph Eschenbach meet the challenge by carefully shading the songs with a tempering of expressions that admits sorrow in the midst of joy and hope in the depths of despair.
Like his previous Virgin Classics release (a program dedicated to Georges Bizet), Paavo Järvi devotes his new CD entirely to music by one French composer: Gabriel Fauré. Fauré’s serene and consoling Requiem is the centerpiece of the album, which also features three further classics, and the world-premiere recording of a neglected rarity, by the same composer.
If you have Bernstein/Ludwig/Berry performing this music and you buy this new version, you'll have all you need for Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Riccardo Chailly offers the most fabulous orchestral playing imaginable: those celebrated Concertgebouw winds have a field-day with Lob des hohen Verstands and St. Anthony of Padua's Fish Sermon. In Revelge the big martial buildup at the center of the song is positively terrifying in its violence. Equally terrifying in its quiet, oppressive dread is Der Tamboursg'sell. Enough of this: you won't hear these songs better played or conducted anywhere. David Hurwitz, classicstoday.com
…The recording allows the performance to glow, and as atmospheric and airy as it is in stereo, listening in surround from the SACD layer immerses you in the ambience in the most satisfying way. If to you Zemlinsky is famous more for his pupils' achievements than his own, then this will be a revelatory experience, and I know already that it's one of my discs of the year.
Thomas Larcher s sound world is both original and captivating in its fusion of contemplative harmonies with innovative performance techniques. Written for and performed by tenor Mark Padmore, 'A Padmore Cycle' features the composer at the keyboard. Works for solo piano performed by Tamara Stefanovich round out this programme of first recordings. Born 1963 in Innsbruck, composer Thomas Larcher studied piano and composition in Vienna. He first gained renown primarily as a pianist, performing with major orchestras and prominent conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez and Franz Welser Möst. In 1998, he began to define himself more clearly as a composer. Since then he has composed works for the San Francisco Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, the Belcea Quartet, and for Leif Ove Andsnes, Matthias Goerne, Mark Padmore and Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley. He has recorded five CDs with ECM, most recently 'Madhares' with Kim Kashkashian, Till Fellner and Dennis Russell Davies.