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Robert Schumann (1810-56)

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Schumann: Scenes from Goethe's Faust, WoO 3


Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - December 2014


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29th Sept 2014




1 hour 55 minutes


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Schumann: Scenes from Goethe's Faust, WoO 3

Live-Recording, Herkulessaal Munich, 18./19.01.2013

Christiane Karg (soprano), Mari Eriksmoen (soprano), Bernarda Fink (mezzo), Andrew Staples (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Alastair Miles (bass), Tareq Nazmi (bass), Kurt Rydl (bass)

Chor & Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Daniel Harding

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Ever since his debut in 2005 with Berg's "Wozzeck" (concertante) with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Daniel Harding has regularly attracted public attention with spectacular concerts. With the "Faust Scenes" by Robert Schumann – Daniel Harding's first recording on the BR-KLASSIK label – the conductor presents us with a work that until now had long been on the fringes of the repertoire, Schumann having primarily attracted attention as a composer of lieder, piano works and chamber music. The exceptional baritone Christian Gerhaher succeeds, perhaps more than any others, in credibly and forcefully conveying the sheer diversity of expression in Goethe's literature here, and makes full use of his expertise as a profound lieder performer. He is joined by Christiane Karg as Gretchen, together with further internationally renowned soloists, the Chamber Choir of Augsburg Cathedral Boys' Choir, and the Bavarian Radio Choir.

Robert Schumann: Szenen aus Goethes Faust, WoO3


Pt. I: Szene im Garten

Pt. II: Gretchen vor dem Bild der Mater Dolorosa

Pt. III: Szene im Dom

Pt. IV: Sonnenaufgang. Die ihr dies Haupt umschwebt im luft'gen Kreise

Pt. IV: Sonnenaufgang. Thäler grünen, Hügel schwellen

Pt. IV: Sonnenaufgang. Des Lebens Pulse schlagen frisch lebendig

Pt. IV: Sonnenaufgang. So ist es also, wenn ein sehnend Hoffen

Pt. V: Mitternacht. Ich heiße der Mangel

Pt. V: Mitternacht. Vier sah ich kommen, drei nur gehn

Pt. V: Mitternacht. Die Nacht scheint tiefer tief hereinzudringen

Pt. VI: Fausts Tod

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Waldung, sie schwankt heran

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Ewiger Wonnebrand

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füßen

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Welch ein Morgenwölkchen schwebet

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Gerettet ist das edle Glied

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Gerettet ist das edle Glied

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Hier ist die Aussicht frei

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Dir, der Unberührbaren

Pt. VII: Fausts Verklärung. Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis

The Guardian

15th October 2014


“[Gerhaher brings] his matchless sensitivity to verbal meaning and colour to vocal writing, while Christiane Karg is the touching Marguerite...Harding’s handling of the whole span of the score is also deeply impressive. The detail is telling but never overdone, the build up to the glorious peroration paced very expertly.”

Financial Times

18th October 2014


“Some great baritones have recorded this little-performed work, but Christian Gerhaher is the equal of any, an inspiration in his fusion of poetry and music.”

Sunday Times

9th November 2014

“Harding scores with his casting: Christian Gerhaher’s Faust is incomparable, while Christiane Karg’s radiant Gretchen is the finest on disc. Alastair Miles is a formidable Mephisto and the smaller parts are excellently taken by Andrew Staples and Bernarda Fink. A record of the year, no doubt.”

BBC Music Magazine

Christmas 2014


“[Harding] shapes some elegant playing and clear choral textures, and there's some fine solo singing, notably from Christiane Karg, Bernarda Fink and Andrew Staples.”

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