Wolf: Complete songs Vol. 1: Mörike Lieder part 1

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COMPOSERS: Wolf
LABELS: Stone Records
WORKS: Die Genesene an die Hoffnung; An eine Äolsharfe; Auf eine Christblume; Auf einer Wanderung etc
PERFORMER: ophie Daneman (soprano), Anna Grevelius (mezzo-soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor), Stephan Loges (baritone), Sholto Kynoch (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 5060192780086

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This new series of the complete songs of Wolf is a project of the ever more impressive Oxford Lieder festival. And this first volume – 26 settings of the Swabian poet and pastor, Eduard Mörike – comes live from the Holywell Music Room last October.
 
These young(ish) singers may not be what Lieder aficionados think of as Wolf specialists; but their performances are acutely sensitive to Wolf’s musical nerve system. And, best of all, a sense of intimacy, of close confiding with the audience, really does come over – invaluable for private listening.
 
It’s a particular delight to hear Sophie Daneman’s soprano take instinctively to the gentle mordancy of the little tale of a boy and a bee, and to the childlike delight expressed in the picture-book vignette of ‘Der Gärtner’. Mezzo-soprano Anna Grevelius enjoys her stormy encounter with insatiable love, the mysteries of the wind’s music in ‘An eine Äolsharfe’, and is a robustly imaginative storyteller in ‘Elfenlied’.
 
The sprightly, smiling tenor of James Gilchrist becomes both hunter and drummer-boy, and is particularly sensitive to the ‘innigkeit’ (warmth), the hushed inner spirit of ‘Schlafendes Jesuskind’ and Wolf’s two songs on a Christmas rose. Stephan Loges tunes his dark baritone as readily to the rapture and pain of seclusion in ‘Verborgenheit’ as to the bright outdoors in ‘Im Frühling’. Festival director Sholto Kynoch is a vivid and sentient accompanist. Hilary Finch