Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * Wolf: Brahms Vier Ernste Gesange, Op 121

Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * Wolf: Brahms Vier Ernste Gesange, Op 121

Article excerpt

Brahms * Wolf

Brahms Vier ernste Gesange, Op 121. Funf Lieder, Op 105--No 4, Auf dem Kirchhofe; No 5, Verrat. Feldeinsamkeit, Op 86 No 2. Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen, Op 32 No 2.0 wiisst ich doch den Weg zuruck, Op 63 No 8 Wolf Drei Gedichte von Michelangelo. Goethe-Lieder--No 10, Der Sanger; No 49, Prometheus; No 51, Grenzen der Menschheit Alastair Miles bass Marie-Noelle Kendall pf Signum [F] SIGCD369 (66' * DDD * T/t)

Alastair Miles's gravely sonorous bass is finely attuned to Brahms's and Wolfs vocal swansongs, linked by their themes of human futility and mortality--though the Brahms-loathing Wolf would have recoiled from the comparison. In Brahms's Vier ernste Gesange, Miles distils something of the mournful stoicism of Hans Hotter. Other singers, notably Fischer-Dieskau, Thomas Quasthoff and Christian Gerhaher, have brought more human anguish and consolatory tenderness to these profound meditations. But Miles's oaken depth of tone and amplitude of line are impressive, and ultimately moving.

Occasional worries over pitch become slightly more nagging in the doleful, drooping chromaticisms of Wolfs Michelangelo songs. In the bleak memento mori of 'Alles endet, was entstehet', especially, Miles's soft singing can lose focus and intensity. That said, he sings with feeling and understanding, if without the specific insights of Fischer-Dieskau or Roman Trekel. Sensitively supported by the pianist Marie-Noelle Kendall, he builds the third song, 'Fuhlt meine Seele', to an ardent apotheosis. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.