Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge

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Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge


Presto Disc of the Week

17th June 2016

Gramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Solo Vocal

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

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Release date:

10th June 2016




55 minutes


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Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge


Lieder und Gesänge (9), Op. 32

Sommerabend, Op. 85 No. 1

Mondenschein, Op. 85 No. 2

Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op. 96 No. 1

Es schauen die Blumen, Op. 96 No. 3

Meerfahrt, Op. 96 No. 4

Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121


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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Brahms wrote a vast number of lieder over a period of 40 years. The 200 or so he permitted to survive show just how important the genre was to his compositional process. The selection presented here illustrates the diversity of a corpus that features Heine (as with so many other composers), but also a wide variety of other poets whom he set to music with the same consummate skill as the ‘Four Serious Songs’ Op.121, the peak of his magnificent and highly individual output.

Johannes Brahms: 9 Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 32

I. Wie rafft ich mich auf in der Nacht

II. Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen

III. Ich schleich umher betrübt und stumm

V. Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte

V. Wehe, so willst du mich wieder

VI. Du sprichst,daβ ich mich täuschte

VII. Bitteres zu sagen denkst du

VIII. So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide

IX. Wie bist du, meine Königin

Johannes Brahms: 6 Lieder, Op. 85: I. Sommerabend

6 Lieder, Op. 85: I. Sommerabend

Johannes Brahms: 6 Lieder, Op. 85: II. Mondenschein

6 Lieder, Op. 85: II. Mondenschein

Johannes Brahms: 4 Lieder, Op. 9: I. Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht

4 Lieder, Op. 9: I. Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht

Johannes Brahms: 4 Lieder, Op. 9: III. Es schauen die Blumen

4 Lieder, Op. 9: III. Es schauen die Blumen

Johannes Brahms: 4 Lieder, Op. 9: IV. Meerfahrt

4 Lieder, Op. 9: IV. Meerfahrt

Johannes Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121

I. Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh

II. Ich wandte mich, und sahe

III. O Tod, wie bitter bist du

IV. Wenn ich mit Menschen- und mit Engelszungen

Presto Classical

17th June 2016

“No-one broods quite like Matthias Goerne, and if his new recital of Brahms songs makes for a decidedly sombre listening experience, it’s also an absolutely unmissable one...his oaky, sturdy voice has taken on darker and more dramatic hues of late...There’s a special sort of alchemy in his partnership with Eschenbach, too, to the extent that it often feels as if we’re listening to a single performer.”

Record Review

11th June 2016

“they suit Brahms’ Vier ernste Gesange, his Four Serious Songs, wonderfully well, that velvety voice seemingly endless reserves of dynamic and expressive power, and a pianist prepared to linger wherever the singer leads, bringing dark shades of his own to the sound...I’ll be listening to this again and again.”

The Guardian

30th June 2016


“The finest-grained colours come from the piano: Eschenbach knows when to push and when to linger, and he has a lovely knack of catching Goerne at the crest of a phrase and then adding his own quiet commentary.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2016

“Goerne remains a fine lieder singer … he shows a careful attention to text … he finds a contemplative depth for the Four Serious Songs, however, with the sorrow and tenderness of the second beautifully suggested.”

Gramophone Magazine

September 2016

“It’s music that’s very well suited to his voice: grainy and gentle and with that characteristic burnished-mahogany tone...this is supremely seductive Lieder singing, with a natural intelligence and ease with the words, matched by playing from Christoph Eschenbach that coaxes and caresses the piano with loving delicacy.”

MusicWeb International

September 2016

“This is a grown-up disc of grown-up repertoire…it’s superbly done and it’s entirely worthy to stand alongside Goerne’s excellent Schubert recitals for the same label.”

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