Saturday 20 February 2016
Gramophone Collector of Lieder: Schubert Lieder
"Christian Elsner's voice poised between the lyric and dramatic, sings with intelligence and feeling."
Our release of "Schubert Lieder, orchestrated by Reger and Webern" with Christian Elsner, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Marek Janowski is featured in the Gramophone's Collector Lieder and Followers! Below you can find a fragment of the article.
Schubert's songs reached a wider public through Liszt's ingeniour piano transcriptions and then in orchestral versions, beginning with Berlioz and Liszt himself. The tradition was taken up by Max Reger and the young Anton Webern, whose orchestrations show him on his best, pre-pointillist behavior. Reger's well-upholstered versions, of which Christian Elsner sings 13, tend to add a too-comfortable gloss to the originals, not least in the Aeschylean terribilità of 'Gruppe aus dem Tarturus'. Still, Elsner, his voice poised between the lyric and dramatic, sings with intelligence and feeling, whether in a dulcet 'Du bist die Ruh' (orchestrated by Webern) or an inciive 'Prometheus', which profits from his experience in Wagnerian declamation. Marek Janowski and the Berlin RSO are ever-reliable partners. Not for the only time in this survey, though, the preponderance of slow-to-very-slow songs invited a Kaffepause in mid-CD.
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Read more of the article on Gramophone, February 2016 release.