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Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)

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Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)

Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesänge Op.121; Lieder Und Gesänge Op.32 (2016)
Matthias Goerne, baritone; Christoph Eschenbach, piano

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 205 Mb | Artwork included | 00:55:47
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC 902174

It's the late Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121, that get the big print on the cover of this release by the awe-inspiring baritone Matthias Goerne, but actually the music on the album falls into a neat early-middle-late classification scheme. The group of middle-period settings of poetry by Heinrich Heine doesn't even get graphics on the cover, but these are fascinating. Brahms wrote a lot of songs, but you couldn't do better than the selection and performances here for a cornerstone collection item. Beyond the sheer beauty of Goerne's voice is an ability to shift gears to match how Brahms' style evolved. If you want to hear his real slashing, operatic high notes, check out the Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 32, settings of poems by the minor poets Georg Friedrich Daumer and Karl August Graf von Platen. These rather overwrought texts add up to a kind of slimmed-down Winterreise, and they catch the spirit of the still-young Brahms with his strong passions, elegantly controlled. The Heine settings, which come from several different sets of lieder, are not that often heard and are in some ways the most compelling of the group here. Goerne is a good deal quieter in these, except for a few bursts of emotion, and he draws the listener into Brahms' intricate phrase-rhythm recasting of Heine's deceptively simple rhymes. Sample Der Tod, der ist der kühle Nacht, Op. 96, No. 1, where Goerne keeps both Heine's four lines plus four and Brahms' three plus three plus two rhythms in your head at the same time. The Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121, the marquee attraction, are even more complicated in terms of the rhythm of the vocal lines of the songs. Brahms, the atheist, chose for this reflection on impending death (Clara Schumann's, and soon his own) biblical texts that don't mention God or Jesus, and devised a personal, reflective tone in response that relies on extremely subtle inflections of Martin Luther's prose texts. Goerne is clearly at the top of his powers here, and it would be difficult to find the results anything but haunting. This recording consists of a pair of sessions at Berlin's Teldex studios, held more than two and a half years apart. The sound is fine, but it would be nice to know who had the idea of putting them together on a single album. Whether it was Goerne or someone else, the final product is uniquely satisfying.

Review by James Manheim, Allmusic.com

Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)

A couple of years after completing his leisurely mix-and-match Schubert series for Harmonia Mundi, Matthias Goerne has made it on to Brahms. It’s music that’s very well suited to his voice: grainy and gentle and with that characteristic burnished-mahogany tone, but at its most beautiful at around mezzo forte and below – when pushed louder it can become a little woofy, and the tone remains veiled across the range.

But this is supremely seductive Lieder singing, with a natural intelligence and ease with the words, matched by playing from Christoph Eschenbach (also at the keyboard for that final Schubert instalment, a similarly beguiling Winterreise – 1/14), that coaxes and caresses the piano with loving delicacy. And listen to the opening of ‘Meerfahrt’: you can almost feel in his playing the boat’s oars digging deep into the watery depths.

But for all the beauty on show, I never get any sense of self-indulgence or narcissism – not even in performances of the Heine pair of ‘Sommerabend’ and ‘Mondenschein’ in which time seems to stand still. In the Vier ernste Gesänge, those brought up on Hans Hotter might admittedly miss the voluminousness of a true bass, especially in ‘Ich wandte mich, und sahe’, but the seraphic, weary calm that concludes ‘O Tod, wie bitter bist du’, offers ample recompense, as does the sense of quiet, heartfelt earnestness Goerne creates throughout.

The Op 32 Lieder und Gesänge have a less illustrious history on record, but Goerne’s recording must be among the finest of recent accounts: certainly he’s a better fit, for me, in terms of voice than Ian Bostridge, for all the English tenor’s artistry (Hyperion, 9/15); and I also prefer his approach to that of the rather more burly and garrulous Thomas Quasthoff (DG, 6/00). The stream of ‘Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte’ feels a tad viscous perhaps, but Goerne’s new-found Wagnerian power helps him bring a real sense of fist-shaking resolve at the conclusion of ‘Wehe, so willst du mich wieder’ and a powerful angsty gravitas to ‘Du sprichst, dass ich mich täuschte’. It’s nevertheless the heart-stopping beauty of his – and Eschenbach’s – take on the concluding ‘Wie bist du, meine Königin’ that lingers in the memory.

Review by Hugo Shirley, Gramophone


Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)



Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)



Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)



Matthias Goerne, baritone
Christoph Eschenbach, piano

Tracklist:

Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32
01. I. Wie raft ich mich auf un der Nacht (4:38)
02. II. Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen (2:48)
03. III. Ich schleich umher betrübt und stumm (1:25)
04. IV. Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte (1:16)
05. V. Wehe, so willst du mich wieder (1:47)
06. VI. Du sprichst, daß ich mich täuschte (3:29)
07. VII. Bitteres zu sagen denkst du (1:54)
08. VIII. So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide (2:00)
09. IX. Wie bist du, meine Königin (5:08)

Lieder Nach Gedichten Von Heinrich Heine
10. Sommerabend, Op.85 No.1 (3:33)
11. Mondenschein Op.85 No.2 (3:09)
12. Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op.96 No.1 (3:02)
13. Es schauen die Blumen, Op.96 No.3 (1:07)
14. Meerfahrt Op.96 No.4 (2:37)

Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121
15. Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh (4:33)
16. Ich wandte mich, und sahe (4:12)
17. O Tod, wie bitter bist du (4:21)
18. Wenn ich mit Menschen- und mit Engelszungen (4:46)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 30. November 2016, 22:34

Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach / Brahms - Vier ernste Gesänge

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Copy CRC 5581DE41
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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-08-30 00:52:54

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach / Brahms - Vier ernste Gesänge
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR14 -0.51 dB -19.54 dB 4:38 01-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - I. Wie raft ich mich auf un der Nacht
DR15 -0.95 dB -21.62 dB 2:48 02-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - II. Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen
DR13 -0.54 dB -19.68 dB 1:25 03-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - III. Ich schleich umher betrübt und stumm
DR13 -0.54 dB -18.42 dB 1:16 04-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - IV. Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte
DR12 -0.51 dB -16.85 dB 1:47 05-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - V. Wehe, so willst du mich wieder
DR14 -0.52 dB -21.63 dB 3:29 06-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - VI. Du sprichst, daß ich mich täuschte
DR13 -3.16 dB -22.32 dB 1:54 07-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - VII. Bitteres zu sagen denkst du
DR13 -2.95 dB -23.48 dB 2:00 08-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - VIII. So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide
DR14 -7.91 dB -27.63 dB 5:08 09-Lieder und Gesänge, Op.32 - IX. Wie bist du, meine Königin
DR13 -10.95 dB -29.49 dB 3:33 10-Sommerabend, Op.85 No.1
DR15 -0.64 dB -26.73 dB 3:09 11-Mondenschein Op.85 No.2
DR14 -5.82 dB -27.41 dB 3:02 12-Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op.96 No.1
DR13 -5.17 dB -23.56 dB 1:07 13-Es schauen die Blumen, Op.96 No.3
DR13 -0.51 dB -18.56 dB 2:37 14-Meerfahrt Op.96 No.4
DR15 -0.52 dB -21.53 dB 4:33 15-Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121 - Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh
DR16 -0.54 dB -24.77 dB 4:12 16-Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121 - Ich wandte mich, und sahe
DR14 -6.57 dB -26.55 dB 4:21 17-Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121 - O Tod, wie bitter bist du
DR16 -0.51 dB -21.53 dB 4:46 18-Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121 - Wenn ich mit Menschen- und mit Engelszungen
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 18
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 504 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach - Johannes Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange Op.121; Lieder Und Gesange Op.32 (2016)

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