Magazine article Musical Opinion

Ralph Kohn: Baritone / Italian Baroque Arias & Ravel / Beethoven & Schubert: Lieder / Schumann: Dichterliebe / Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Ralph Kohn: Baritone / Italian Baroque Arias & Ravel / Beethoven & Schubert: Lieder / Schumann: Dichterliebe / Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin

Article excerpt

CD REVIEWS

Ralph Kohn: Baritone

Graham Johnson:

Piano

Brahms, Mahler and Robert Kahn: Lieder Opera Omnia OP393 66' 38"

Italian Baroque Arias & Ravel Chansons Opera Omnia OP692 57' 46"

Beethoven & Schubert: Lieder Opera Omnia OP1711 71' 56"

Schumann: Dichterliebe Opera Omnia OP1726 63' 49"

Schubert: Die schone Mullerin Opera Omnia OP 1751 63' 22"

Five recent releases from the Opera Omnia label bring together the captivating lieder singing of baritone Ralph Kohn and the incredibly astute piano partnership of Graham Johnson.

Johnson, of course, has courted the Lieder genre with an extensive recording output over the years; the success of his Schubert and Schumann Lieder Cycles for Hyperion are obvious examples of his prowess in the role of accompanist. While Ralph Kohn may not be a name quickly conjured-up regarding this repertoire this set of recordings is one that should redress the balance with a singer in the late evening of life who can still convey a variety of song with remarkable sensitivity and beauty of line.

It was the Italian Baroque Arias that immediately attracted me, taking me back, as it will many vocalists, to the early days of voice training, armed with the book of Arie Antiche that introduces the world of Classical song. With today's striving for historically informed performance practice you will be hard pressed in these CDs to hear anything nearing that, which, ironically, proves rather refreshing. So we, in the 21 st-Century, get an `old-fashioned' perspective that is firmly driven by 19thCentury thinking, yet Kohn's voice is a joy to hear, with a full sound that gives meaty interpretations. …

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