LABELS: RCA Red Seal
ALBUM TITLE: Schubert
WORKS: Abendbilder: Lieder settings of Seidl, Silbert, Rückert, Rochlitz,
PERFORMER: Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Gerold Huber (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 82876 77716 2
Christian Gerhaher is one of the most exciting German baritones on the Lieder scene at the moment, with his outstanding natural voice, immaculately groomed to enable a powerful musical sculpting of all he sings. And images of evening show Schubert at his best too: that time poised between light and dark, between the harsh reality of day and the fantasy of night, goes to the
heart of the composer’s sensibility.
But there’s a third person here too. Gerold Huber, Gerhaher’s accompanist, is an inextricable part of the enchantment of this skilfully engineered and beautifully recorded recital. In ‘Abendbilder’ itself, the title song, he creates eloquent sound pictures, stanza by stanza, of echoes, bells and starry skies, as Gerhaher’s words live robustly along the line. His baritone might lack the virtuoso hushed legato of a Matthias Goerne; but the very simplicity of Gerhaher’s brand of Innigkeit is compelling: the gentle oscillation of ‘Des Fischers Liebesglück’, and the quiet, plain speaking of ‘Winterabend’.
These images of evening extend to night flights, and Gerhaher and Huber are at their riveting and rhythmic best in the trotting gait of ‘Drang in die Ferne’, the canter of
‘Auf der Bruck’ and the break-neck gallop of ‘Wilkommen und Abschied’. Hilary Finch