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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 October 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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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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Classical - Released November 16, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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

Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released March 4, 2016 | BR-Klassik

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 August 16, 2013 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released October 16, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

Distinctions Diamant d'Opéra Magazine
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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 March 25, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

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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 April 30, 1999 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released September 25, 2009 | ECM New Series

Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck has received a bad and undeserved reputation on many fronts he didn't deserve. As his output is heavily invested in ambitious German-language song settings and cycles of various kinds -- what Dr. Seuss may have had in mind when he poked fun at a "long, long song" in his book Hop on Pop -- a great deal of it doesn't travel well. Conventional wisdom also dictated that Schoeck was a conservative post-romantic composer whose language never entered the modern era even though he lived until 1957. Once faced with Schoeck's actual music, though, you realize this depends on what you think is "modern," and to that end musicians have come a long way since the days of the 1970s when adherence to the ideals of the Second Vienna School was considered a requirement. A lot of what we love best about their music is what is found in the profound seriousness and mystery of Arnold Schoenberg's Second String Quartet, Alban Berg's Wozzeck and Lyric Suite, and Webern's early songs and his Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5. Although he does not employ structural systems that are least discernable and stylistically and Schoeck is clearly a different voice from the foregoing, his Notturno (1933) belongs to that world. It is highly chromatic, intense, and charged with the same expressionist idiom and sense of the enigmatic that we know from the Schoenberg school. It has been only recorded twice before, and arguably never better than on this ECM New Series disc featuring baritone Christian Gerhaher and the Rosamunde Quartett. Christian Gerhaher sings this long and difficult work exactly the way it should go; he never barks it out or makes recourse to the heavy vibrato germane to Wagnerian opera, but makes sparing use of vibrato to bring out the best mood of the text. The quartet, too, handles the slippery and complex chromatics of Schoeck's music with authority and tenderness; it has clearly studied every twist and turn in this score and seamlessly negotiates it all. This particular project is a labor of love of Heinz Holliger, who admits in his brief booklet note that at one time he, too, felt that Schoeck was a relic of the past. Nothing replaces the act of discovery, and Schoeck is a major one; if you love the expressionist sound of the early twentieth century, then you won't want to miss this. As Holliger stated, "May this be the moment of Schoeck's rediscovery"; indeed, this disc makes it seem like it's his turn and a lot worse could happen to music than for Schoeck to finally step out of the shadows. It's a little short at 48 minutes, but the Notturno is such a complete musical experience in itself that you won't go away feeling like you need more.
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Classical - Released March 7, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released December 31, 1999 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released July 26, 2002 | ARTE NOVA Classics