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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 16, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
German baritone Christian Gerhaher has recorded lieder, and his fundamentally gentle, intimate, moderate-sized voice is suited to that genre. Here, however, he steps it up successfully to early Romantic opera, from Schubert up to Wagner's Tannhäuser and Otto Nicolai. If you're wondering about the two separate Schubert operas, that gives you an idea of the value of this vocal-orchestral recital: it touches on some very unfamiliar music and generally does a good job bringing it to life. Schubert's 1823 opera Alfonso und Estrella, not performed until it was revived by Liszt in 1854, has been recorded, but the excerpt from Der Graf von Gleichen, sketched out at the end of Schubert's life and left unfinished (the realization here is by Richard Dünser, made in the 1990s) is a much rarer animal. This is the highlight of the album; in Gerhaher's hands, the aria "O Himmel ... Mein Weib, O Gott, mein süßer Knabe" emerges as a real piece of Schubert's broad and harmonically pathbreaking late style. Another comparative rarity is the excerpt from Schumann's opera Genoveva, usually accounted the great failure of Schumann's later years; Gerhaher gives the excerpt "Ja wart' du bis zum jüngsten Tag" a spiky quality that is quite Wagnerian in its free speech cadences. The more melodic music from Otto Nicolai's Die Heimkehr des Verbannten, also not common on recordings, provides an effective foil. Gerhaher's voice has many surface pleasures, but his accomplishment here is to make the listener want to undertake a fresh hearing of the operas involved. A fine outing from the on-a-roll Sony Classical label, nicely recorded.
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Lieder (German) - Released November 16, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
Very different from Schubert’s Lieder, which are chants according to German “popular” tradition (usually strophic) with a musical accompaniment subservient to the singing (taking nothing away from their incredible genius!), Schumann’s are, to use Christian Gerhaher’s words, “lyrical dramaturgy”; miniature operas in which the piano and vocals are equal in content. This doesn’t explain why Schumann’s Lieder are so rarely performed in concert, with the exception of some well-worn cycles (normally Myrten, Dichterliebe and Frauenliebe und –leben). Gerhaher and his pianist Gerold Huber pick works from the genre’s ample repertoire that have almost never been performed in concert. Only three cycles date back to the “Liederyear” of 1840 (incidentally the year of his marriage to Clara Wieck), while the others are from the composer’s last years, beyond 1850, and are full of nostalgia… This is far from the dishevelled romanticism of his early years, the mood is dark and the discourse broken up into small brushstrokes. The contrast from one era to the other is striking. Gerhaher and Huber perform these surprising marvels brilliantly. © SM/Qobuz
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Lieder (German) - Released October 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Baritone Christian Gerhaher has a rare combination of warm, rounded, almost Fischer-Dieskau-esque tone and dramatic sense, and he's rapidly gaining admirers. An album of Mozart arias would seem just the thing for him, and the straightforward title of this release seems to promise just that. As it happens, things are a little more complicated. You get notes entitled "The Transformations of Eros in Mozart's Final Operas" (that sounds even more fearsome in German), which seems to mean that the program explores different kinds of Mozartian male romantic leads, from Don Giovanni (both the Don himself and Leporello) to Figaro (the Count also gets his say) to Guglielmo in Così fan tutte to Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Arias from each opera are grouped, and between them are single arias that perhaps show the way one concept of the Mozart-era lover bled into another. On top of this, the four movements of Mozart's Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425 ("Linz"), are interspersed around the program, not in their original order. These may have been interludes in the live concerts from which these recordings were taken. They were apparently picked by Gerhaher himself, but the first movement of the symphony as the next-to-last track seems to be beginning something and not ending it. The entire concept is murky, but nothing interferes with the sheer attractiveness of Gerhaher's singing and the way he shifts gears smoothly from the artless Papageno to the licentious Don Giovanni. As a plain old Mozart arias collection, this is just fine.
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Classical - Released June 27, 2014 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Lieder (German) - Released March 3, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Lieder (German) - Released July 11, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award
Nachtviolen is the title of a text by Schubert's frequent collaborator Johann Mayrhofer, here translated with the flowers' usual English name, Dame's Violets. They might also be called night violets, which gives an idea of the gentle yet often somewhat dark and mysterious mood of most of the songs programmed here by German baritone Christian Gerhaher. The songs are by and large not very common ones, and Sony deserves credit for not insisting on the inclusion of one of the big Goethe hits. But what Gerhaher gets instead is unusual continuity, both within the often very complex songs he has chosen and over the course of the entire program. The partnership between Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber is very close in examining the ways Schubert emancipated the piano from an accompanimental role and often had it mold songs into entirely new shapes. Gerhaher's voice is deceptively smooth; listeners won't realize how deeply they've been drawn into the drama of a song and how it spills over the neat quatrains of the poetry. The entire program will haunt the mind long after hearing it, but for those who have to have highlights, check out the quietly bittersweet conclusion of Abschied, D. 475 (track 4), and the wild harmonic experimentation of Totengräber-Weise, D. 869 (Gravedigger's Song, track 15). A triumphant release from a singer who has emerged at the top of the considerable heap of baritone Schubert specialists.
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released March 4, 2016 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released June 15, 2012 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Ferne Geliebte, Christian Gerhaher's 2012 Sony release, is a collection of lieder by the masters of the Classical Viennese style, Franz Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, and the chief representatives of the Second Viennese School, Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg. While it is indeed interesting to note the contrasts between Classical and modernist styles, which even casual listeners will discern, it is perhaps more rewarding to consider how Gerhaher and his longtime accompanist Gerold Huber move almost effortlessly from the excitable ardor of Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte to the brooding sehnsucht of Schoenberg's Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, or from the wholesome melancholy of Haydn's Trost unglücklicher Liebe to the existentential angst of Berg's Altenberg Lieder. While it would be easy to play up the emotions of longing and desolation, Gerhaher is controlled and balanced, letting most of the expression come through the melodic lines and tonal shading, rather than through forced declamation. Huber's accompaniment is similarly understated and calibrated to the needs of the songs, so there is a unity of purpose between the artists that makes this album convincing and satisfying. Sony's reproduction is clear and full, and the performers have a credible presence.
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Classical - Released October 16, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

Distinctions Diamant d'Opéra Magazine
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Classical - Released August 16, 2013 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released September 1, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released March 25, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released August 1, 2004 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released February 9, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 16, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet
According those who knew him, Gustav Mahler had a lovely speaking voice, a mellow baritone that he used subtly and expressively in conversation. Since most of his songs were written with a baritone voice in mind, one could wonder if the composer used to sing his own songs, and what he might have sounded like. There's no knowing, of course, but if it were permissible to guess, he might have sounded a lot like Christian Gerhaher in this recital of Mahler's songs with pianist Gerold Huber. As he showed in his recording of Das Lied von der Erde with Kent Nagano, Gerhaher has a beautifully modulated, essentially lyrical baritone and he's clearly thought deeply about how best to render these songs. But beyond the quality of his voice, the overwhelming effect of Gerhaher's performance is deeply personal, even intimate. His hushed tone at the close of Die zwei blauen Augen, his legato line in opening of Ich atmet' einen linden Duft, his rapturous ecstasy in final bars of Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, and his aching sadness in the last chorus of Nicht wiedersehen! do not sound like an artist interpreting a song but rather like a man creating a song by completely inhabiting its words and music. A breakthrough moment like the climax of Um Mitternacht sounds like a revelation to the listener because Gerhaher sounds like he is discovering the song's implications as he sings it. Accompanied with tremendous skill and seemingly unlimited sympathy by Gerold Huber, Gerhaher has delivered one of the finest Mahler recitals in years. BMG/Sony's sound is virtually transparent.
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Classical - Released November 1, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 18, 2006 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released March 25, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 30, 1999 | ARTE NOVA Classics