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

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Prise de son d'exception
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
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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Lieder (German) - Released March 3, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

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 October 19, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

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

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 16, 2018 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released November 8, 2004 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released March 25, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released March 28, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released November 1, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released May 28, 2007 | RCA Red Seal

While not all of the 17 Schubert songs collected here under the title Abendbilder (Evening Images) deal specifically with the evening, most are at least tinged with the melancholy that's associated with the end of the day in the romantic imagination, and baritone Christian Gerhaher's passionate sensibility brings that melancholy to the fore. Gerhaher's voice has matured since his fine 2001 recording of Der Winterreise and his interpretive skills have deepened. He is becoming a master of an effortless, creamy legato that's especially evident in the long floating lines of "Du bist die Ruh." The way Gerhaher's voice materializes out of nothing in "Im Abendrot" is magical, and the simplicity and directness of his singing is heartbreakingly poignant. He is at much at home in the more energetic and vociferous songs, such as "Bei dir allein," "Auf der Bruck," and "Der Musensohn," but it's in the more introspective pieces, where he can caress the words, that he is most unaffectedly moving. Gerold Huber provides supple and nuanced accompaniment, and the partnership of voice and piano is one of the album's greatest strengths. The sound is warm, present, and well balanced, with just enough resonance to maximize Gerhaher's ringing tone.
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released June 9, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

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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 October 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 20, 2006 | RCA Red Seal

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