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The second in Harmonia Mundi’s Winterreise triptych is again presented by a tenor, the lyric-voiced Werner Gura, but using a Rönisch fortepiano of 1872, played by Christoph Berner. Winterreise, composed in 1827, is the embodiment of Romanticism in music, the ultimate expression of ‘Sehnsucht’, that existential longing which haunts the creations of this artistic movement in all its forms. Born in Munich, Werner Güra studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum and completed his training with Kurt Widmer in Basel and Margreet Honig in Amsterdam, in addition to taking courses in acting with Ruth Berghaus and Theo Adam. After appearing at the Frankfurt and Basel operas, Werner Güra joined the Semperoper in Dresden in 1995, where he sang the principal tenor roles of Mozart and Rossini. He has sung Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte under Daniel Barenboim and René Jacobs, Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Berlin State Opera, Die Zauberflöte at the Paris Opéra, Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Dresden, and Bach’s Passions under Philippe Herreweghe and Peter Schreier. He has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado and Adám Fischer, and with the Concentus Musicus Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt. As a lied interpreter Werner Güra has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center, the Barcelona Schubertiade and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. Among his successful lieder recordings for Harmonia Mundi are programmes of Schubert (Die schöne Müllerin, Schwanengesang), Schumann (Dichterliebe, Liederkreise Op.24 & 39), Wolf (Mörike- Lieder), Mozart, and Brahms (Liebeslieder-Waltzer) – all celebrated by the international press.
Winterreise, D.911: I. Gute Nacht
Winterreise, D.911: II. Die Wetterfahne
Winterreise, D.911: III. Gefrorene Tränen
Winterreise, D.911: IV. Erstarrung
Winterreise, D.911: V. Der Lindenbaum
Winterreise, D.911: VI. Wasserflut
Winterreise, D.911: VII. Auf dem Flusse
Winterreise, D.911: VIII. Rückblick
Winterreise, D.911: IX. Irrlicht
Winterreise, D.911: X. Rast
Winterreise, D.911: XI. Frühlingstraum
Winterreise, D.911: XII. Einsamkeit
Winterreise, D.911: XIII. Die Post
Winterreise, D.911: XIV. Der greise Kopf
Winterreise, D.911: XV. Die Krähe
Winterreise, D.911: XVI. Letzte Hoffnung
Winterreise, D.911: XVII. Im Dorfe
Winterreise, D.911: XVIII. Der stürmische Morgen
Winterreise, D.911: XIX. Täuschung
Winterreise, D.911: XX. Der Wegweiser
Winterreise, D.911: XXI. Das Wirtshaus
Winterreise, D.911: XXII. Mut!
Winterreise, D.911: XXIII. Die Nebensonnen
Winterreise, D.911: XXIV. Der Leiermann
7th March 2010
“this Winterreise looks set to rival the most distinguished accounts by lyric tenors...[Gura] uses a wide palette of vocal and expressive colours to make this Winter’s Journey a spiritual and emotional trajectory...Despite his tenor’s essential lyrical beauty, he can convey rage and ugliness as well”
18th March 2010
“this very fine account of Die Winterreise completes what has become one of the most distinguished recent triptychs of Schubert song cycles on disc...Güra's sensitivity brings the text to life in a chillingly immediate way, while the pianist Christoph Berner understands his part in the dramatic scheme exactly.”
“Werner Güra's light, lyrical tenor is in immaculately nurtured voice for this deeply considered performance...And it's fascinating to hear what Güra makes of Schubert's ubiquitous line-repetitions, adding a shadow of tremulous dread here, a redoubling of rage and a bite of irony there. Both Güra and Berner are acutely sensitive to the shifts of pace both within and between songs.”
“This Winterreise-man is, if not "mad" then seriously "disturbed" or unhinged...His enunciation may be deadpan, almost expressionless, or it may stab emphatically - and the pianist will do the same...Christoph Berner['s] playing is the very enactment of the man, his apprehensions and his setting.”
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