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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2016 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released January 1, 2016 | Orfeo

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Opera - Released May 3, 2011 | Oehms Classics

Booklet
Aribert Reimann (born 1936) is one of the most prominent German opera composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. His music is unapologetically modernist, making rigorous demands on both performers and audiences, but particularly in the theater his work can have a visceral impact. His Lear (1982), written for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, brought Reimann to international attention and remains his most frequently performed and recorded opera. The composer conceived Medea as a similarly bleak tragedy but with a female protagonist. It's a testimony to Reimann's prominence that within a year of Medea's premiere at the Vienna State Opera (where it was rapturously received) the production moved to the Frankfurt Opera, and it's a Frankfurt performance that's recorded here. The opera is thoroughly grim and dark, entirely atonal, and could be heavy going for the casual listener. Reimann's jagged, relentlessly ornamented vocal lines require coloratura agility throughout. The agitated pyrotechnics can begin to sound like a mannerism, but they have the effect of throwing unadorned climactic melodic lines into dramatic relief. Reimann uses his large orchestra with restraint, so the singers are never overwhelmed. His reticence in using the strings in anything like a conventional melodic manner makes their occasional bursts of lyricism all the more striking. He writes very effectively for percussion; the ominous sonic clouds created by very low gongs and tam-tams that open the opera and recur strategically have real power. Based on the photographs in the program booklet, the opera received a visually stunning production; the potent images make it easy to imagine that the opera made an especially gripping impression in the theater. The soloists are all top-notch singing actors who bring vivid characterizations to the opera. As Medea, Claudia Barainsky doesn’t have a voice with size and tonal warmth of Marlis Petersen, who created the role, but she's dramatically unforgettable and is undaunted by the composer's demands. Erik Nielsen leads the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester in a taut, focused, and utterly secure performance of the challenging score. The sound of the live recording is full, very well-balanced, and mostly clean. Medea is not likely to attract broad audiences, but it should interest fans of new opera. © TiVo
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Opera - Released June 15, 2018 | Oehms Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
A German composer—Aribert Reimann (born in 1936), a creation at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and yet L’intruse is a work composed on a booklet sung in French, even though Reimann simultaneously conceived a version sung in German. But the booklet is based on three short pieces from Maurice Maeterlinck, written in French of course, that are L’Intruse, Intérieur and La mort de Tintagiles, a trilogy gathered under the title L’Invisible. Between restless middle-class realism and fairy-tale mythology, Maeterlinck unveils a disturbing world, filled with death, fate, human helplessness and the vanity of all things. The link between the three pieces, if not textual or dramatic, is made through the use of the same singers, as well still as the appearance in the three volumes of the three servants—three opera countertenors, a most striking sound effect, especially since they represent no less than Death’s messengers. Reimann’s musical discourse, both harsh and deep, moving and rough, takes the listener by the hand from the first minute and only lets it go after ninety minutes full of meaning. You have here the recording made live during its creation in October 1997, with some “surgical taping” recorded afterwards to make up for the moments during which the scenic noise disturbed the listening. If there’s one little drawback, it is that we’ll somewhat regret the too Germanic pronunciation of the French language by most of the soloists… But the album offers the complete French booklet. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 8, 1996 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | CPO

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Chamber Music - Released April 14, 2017 | Wergo

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | CapriccioNR

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Aribert Reimann, born in 1936, is one of the leading German composers of his generation. He has made a specialty of opera and vocal music, and the two vocal works on this CD are testimony to his skill in writing for the voice. Ollea, for unaccompanied soprano, is a real virtuoso showcase that makes almost superhuman demands on its performer. It is entirely atonal, requiring an exceptional sense of pitch, it has a vast range, and the writing frequently calls for coloratura pyrotechnics. The highly dramatic vocal writing, which is sometimes reminiscent of Henze at his most abstract, is entirely idiomatic, though, and makes the voice sound fabulous, particularly in a performance as spectacular as that of German soprano Mojca Erdmann. Her pitch is absolutely secure, her tone celestially pure, and her technique dazzling. Reimann's vocal writing, for all the difficulty of his harmonic language, is always expressive, and Erdmann sings it with commitment and emotional directness, as if it was Mozart; this is a singer to watch out for. … ni una sombra, for soprano, clarinet, and piano, is just as demanding, except that here Erdmann has the stellar support of clarinetist Jörg Widmann and pianist Axel Bauni, who deliver performances that are no less astounding than hers. Widmann, who is also a major composer on the German scene, is featured in the three other works on the album, a solo for clarinet, a solo for basset clarinet (a relic of the Classical era), and Cantus, for clarinet and orchestra. His performance sounds like singing, and he shares with Erdmann the qualities of security, purity, and remarkably disciplined technique. Capriccio's sound is clean, vibrant, and present. This a CD that should have strong appeal for fans of European modernism, as well as listeners with open ears who are susceptible to thrilling vocal and instrumental performances. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 18, 2016 | Wergo

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released October 30, 2007 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
The music of Aribert Reimann (born 1936), one of the most prominent German composers of the second half of the twentieth century, is notable for its graphic and very effective depiction of bleakness. His most famous opera is based on King Lear, and the desolation and existential despair of the play are ideally suited to the composer's expressive palette. The works recorded here, two for baritone and orchestra and one for baritone and piano, are based on texts by Paul Celan and are evidence of the same grim aesthetic. Zyklus and Kumi Ori, the orchestral pieces, are stylistically virtually indistinguishable, even though they were written almost 30 years apart. Each begins with an extended solo for the singer, who is eventually joined by sparse, jagged accompaniment. Reimann's vocal lines are angular and tormented, but he writes with an understanding of what is and is not possible for the human voice to reasonably do. Reimann is clearly skilled at creating sound worlds of relentless, crushing angst; it will depend on the listener's temperament whether or not he or she will want to accompany him on his dark journey. Baritone Yaron Windmüller negotiates the grueling vocal part with security and manages to sustain a full, warm tone, but his vibrato is a little wide. The Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Günter Herbig, and pianist Axel Bauni play with appropriately dark, atmospheric expressiveness. © TiVo
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Opera - Released January 1, 2008 | Oehms Classics