Mahler/Gerhaher/Huber: Lieder | CD review


With every disc he makes, the German baritone Christian Gerhaher emerges more and more clearly as the true heir to the Lieder-singing legacy of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Gerhaher's care with words, the way in which he shapes each phrase individually, yet with a total awareness of how it fits into the scheme of the whole song, is combined with an astonishing range of vocal nuance and beauty of tone that sets him apart from almost all his contemporaries. Yet Gerhaher's performances are never carbon copies of Fischer-Dieskau's; he is too intelligent, too original an interpreter to be satisfied with that. The core of this Mahler collection are two of the cycles, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and the five Rückert Lieder, which are framed by groups of Des Knaben Wunderhorn settings, 11 of them altogether. Every song is explored with a perfect mixture of musical tact and illumination, and if the prevailing mood of the entire sequence is bleak, the ways in which Gerhaher and his pianist Gerold Huber modulate and colour that sadness are utterly absorbing.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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