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Werner Gura, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)

Posted By: Designol
Werner Gura, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)

Werner Güra, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 199 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 152 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC902217 | Time: 01:03:12

Beethoven as a giant of the symphony and the sonata has somewhat overshadowed Beethoven as a creator of songs. On this varied and insightful recording, tenor Werner Güra performs a program featuring Adelaide and the first song cycle in history, An die ferne Geliebte, that proves Beethoven's lieder lacked neither appeal nor originality. Accompanist Christoph Berner plays a Streicher fortepiano of 1847 that is perfectly suited to both the songs and to his solo performance of the wonderful Bagatelles of Op.126.

This Beethoven release by historical performance specialists Werner Güra (tenor) and Christoph Berner (fortepiano) is novel in several ways and conjures an intimate Romantic-era chamber atmosphere as few other Beethoven song recordings have done. Berner's Streicher fortepiano of 1847 is a marvelous instrument: quiet, but resonant, with a marvelous misty high register in the variation passages of the late Bagatelles, Op. 126. But even better is the concept of the program, which is more or less unprecedented in the recording era, but might well have been quite familiar to an audience in an Austrian household a couple of generations after Beethoven. Güra and Berner offer songs from all the phases of Beethoven's career, from early to on-the-brink-of-late, the latter in the form of the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 (On the Distant Beloved). This cycle in Güra's highly expressive reading comes across not only as a pioneering song cycle, the first true example of the form, but as an intensely personal document that may have had a lot to do with Beethoven's unmailed letter to his unidentified Immortal Beloved, and as a work that really inaugurates the late period. The Bagatelles are not just interludes in the song program but apotheoses of Beethoven's treatment of small-scale melodic forms. Güra also shines in the early aria Adelaide, Op. 46, and in a group of middle-period songs that are by and large rarely performed. A genuinely fresh Beethoven song recording.

Review by James Manheim, Allmusic.com

Werner Gura, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)

Interlacing a selection of (mainly) popular Lieder with piano miniatures, Werner Güra and Christoph Berner here create the Beethovenian answer to a Schubertiade. Although the composer designed the Op 126 Bagatelles – his last music for piano – as a cycle, the recipe works well. There are some revealing correspondences, too: the songful, gently ornamental Bagatelle No 1 in G, here placed before An die ferne Geliebte, anticipates the cycle both in mood and in its technique of continual variation. Playing on an 1847 Streicher fortepiano – a direct descendant of the kind of instrument Beethoven knew – Berner relishes their quirkiness, explosive energy and rarefied lyricism. He bends the pulse liberally, yet is always mindful of the music’s onward flow. The fortepiano’s bell-like treble and slightly hazy resonance are heard to particularly beguiling effect in the idyllic barcarolle of No 5 in G; and Beethoven’s characteristic chasms between treble and bass sound that much more arresting with the fortepiano’s extreme timbre contrasts between registers.

Berner is also a discerning and poetic partner – never a mere sidekick – in the Lieder, which range in tone from the desolate ‘Resignation’ to the exuberant, mildly risqué ‘Der Kuss’. Güra’s mellifluous tenor has lost none of the freshness of a decade and more ago. He sings An die ferne Geliebte with a wondering, confiding intimacy, punctuated by surges of excited urgency. Nos 3, 4 and 5 are properly light and airborne. Singer and pianist conjure a trance-like stillness in the central verse of No 2 and at the sunset vision in the final song, before the unforced exultation of the end, enhanced by the ringing ease of Güra’s top register. Berner’s handling of the potentially tricky transitions between the songs seems spot-on, with Beethoven’s detailed dynamics and accents precisely observed and each song seeming to emerge naturally from its predecessor.

In ‘Zärtliche Liebe’ (aka ‘Ich liebe dich’) Güra tends to stress words at the expense of a pure legato line – simplicity is surely of the essence here. At the opening of the Italianate ‘Adelaide’ he likewise favours intensity of feeling over bel canto elegance. But with his quicksilver response to text and mood he always compels attention, whether in the two contrasting settings of ‘An die Hoffnung’ that frame the recital (the hushed awe of the later song beautifully caught), the restrained Innigkeit of ‘Wonne der Wehmut’ – here a true duet between voice and piano – or the sly pointing and timing of ‘Der Kuss’, abetted by volleys of keyboard laughter, a further reminder of Berner’s vivid contribution to the success of the whole delightful enterprise.

Review by Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

Werner Gura, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)



Werner Gura, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)




Tracklist:

01. An die Hoffnung, Op.32 (04:15)
02. Lied aus der Ferne, WoO 137 (03:55)
03. Bagatelle, Op.126/2 (02:59)
04. Zärtliche Liebe, WoO 123 (01:56)
05. Bagatelle, Op.126/1 (02:54)
06. An die ferne Geliebte, Op.98 (13:17)
07. Bagatelle, Op.126/3 (02:25)
08. Adelaide, Op.46 (05:29)
09. Bagatelle, Op.126/5 (02:26)
10. Der Kuss, Op.128 (02:03)
11. Bagatelle, Op.126/4 (03:58)
12. Bagatelle, Op.126/6 (04:27)
13. Wonne der Wehmut, Op.83/1 (02:17)
14. Resignation, WoO 149 (03:13)
15. An die Hoffnung, Op.94 (07:30)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 13. February 2016, 22:32

Werner Güra, Christoph Berner / Beethoven - Lieder & Bagatellen

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Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
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Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -V -8 -T "Date=%year%" -T "Genre=%genre%" %source%


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Test CRC C5AA0816
Copy CRC C5AA0816
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==== Log checksum 0B3103D6B21DF0BF00DE54060FD2AC0D1BF5CB5F5F5048E07AEE4EF684B312EB ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-02-03 00:25:24

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Werner Güra, Christoph Berner / Beethoven - Lieder & Bagatellen
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR15 -6.64 dB -26.86 dB 4:15 01-An die Hoffnung, Op.32
DR14 -3.33 dB -23.37 dB 3:55 02-Lied aus der Ferne, WoO 137
DR12 -8.25 dB -25.19 dB 3:00 03-Bagatelle, Op.126/2
DR14 -2.83 dB -26.21 dB 1:57 04-Zärtliche Liebe, WoO 123
DR13 -12.01 dB -29.83 dB 2:55 05-Bagatelle, Op.126/1
DR17 -0.30 dB -25.62 dB 13:17 06-An die ferne Geliebte, Op.98
DR13 -12.85 dB -30.96 dB 2:25 07-Bagatelle, Op.126/3
DR15 -2.76 dB -23.65 dB 5:29 08-Adelaide, Op.46
DR15 -8.23 dB -29.80 dB 2:27 09-Bagatelle, Op.126/5
DR15 -3.82 dB -23.94 dB 2:03 10-Der Kuss, Op.128
DR13 -5.09 dB -23.13 dB 3:58 11-Bagatelle, Op.126/4
DR15 -6.83 dB -27.60 dB 4:28 12-Bagatelle, Op.126/6
DR15 -4.62 dB -26.01 dB 2:18 13-Wonne der Wehmut, Op.83/1
DR16 -4.29 dB -27.27 dB 3:14 14-Resignation, WoO 149
DR16 -2.23 dB -24.79 dB 7:31 15-An die Hoffnung, Op.94
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 15
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 425 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Werner Gura, Christoph Berner - Ludwig van Beethoven: Lieder & Bagatellen (2015)

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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