Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Schumann, Humperdinck, etc

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: etc,Humperdinck,Mozart,Schumann,Strauss,Wagner
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Matthias Goerne Ð Arias
WORKS: Arias
PERFORMER: Matthias Goerne (baritone), Dorothea Röschmann (soprano); choirs, Swedish RSO/Manfred Honeck
CATALOGUE NO: 467 263-2
An ambitiously broad programme from the German baritone, ranging from Mozart to Berg, with the accompaniments conscientiously delivered by the Swedish orchestra under Manfred Honeck and Dorothea Röschmann gamely essaying all the relevant soprano parts from Susanna and Pamina to Marie in Wozzeck via a brief snatch of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Advertisement

Usually considered a Lieder specialist, Goerne shows plenty of versatility, too, but it’s the lyrical numbers that come off best – a small piece of gorgeousness from Korngold’s Die tote Stadt and Wolfram’s extended scene from Tannhäuser especially. A sadness in the tone in this intimate, almost whispered reading is especially attractive.

One or two items – the Wozzeck extracts, the Count’s aria from Figaro – ideally need a grander and more vividly coloured vocalism than Goerne provides (his Italian is noticeably less sharp than his German). The latter has a couple of blemishes: the final triplet passage is sketchy and the soloist momentarily gets ahead of the orchestra earlier.

Advertisement

Elsewhere he vindicates his reputation – the Papageno items from The Magic Flute prove nicely scaled to his vocal resources and are charmingly done, while Don Giovanni’s Serenade is airy and graceful. The recording is soft-grained but clear. George Hall