Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge

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Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge
Matthias Goerne (baritone) Chistoph Eschenbach (piano)

[ Harmonia Mundi / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 20 May 2016

Brahms wrote a vast number of lieder over a period of forty 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 emblematic peak of a magnificent and highly individual output.

"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." Gramophone Awards 2017 WINNER - Solo Vocal

"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." Record Review, 11th 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." The Guardian, 30th June 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." BBC Music Magazine, 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." MusicWeb International, September 2016


9 Lieder und Gesänge Op. 32
1. I. Wie rafft ich mich auf in der NachtAndante (F minor)
2. II. Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehenLangsam (D minor)
3. III. Ich schleich umher betrübt und stummMässig (D minor)
4. IV. Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschteModerato, ma agitato (C-sharp minor)
5. V. Wehe, so willst du mich wiederAllegro (B minor)
6. VI. Du sprichst,da? ich mich täuschteAndante con moto (C minor)
7. VII. Bitteres zu sagen denkst duCon moto, espressivo ma grazioso (F major)
8. VIII. So stehn wir, ich und meine WeideIn Gehender Bavegung (A-flat major)
9. IX. Wie bist du, meine KöniginAdagio (E-flat major)

6 Lieder Op. 85
10. Sommerabend Op. 85/1.Langsam ( B-flat major)
11. Sommerabend Op. 85/2.Langsam (B-flat major)

4 Lieder Op. 96
12. Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht Op. 96/1.Sehr Langsam (C major)
13. Es schauen die Blumen Op. 96/3.Unrutig bewegt (B minor)
14. Meerfahrt Op. 96/4.Andante sostenutp (A minor)

Vier ernste Gesänge
15. Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem ViehAndante (D minor)
16. Ich wandte mich, und saheAndante (G minor)
17. O Tod, wie bitter bist duGrave (E minor-E major)
18. Wenn ich mit Menschen- und mit EngelszungenCon moto ed anima (E major)