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Songs [Import]

Gustav Mahler Audio CD

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1. Fruhlingsmorgen
2. Hans Und Grete
3. Phantasie
4. Ablosung Im Sommer
5. Zu Strassburg Auf Der Schanz
6. Nicht Wiedersehen!
7. Scheiden Und Meiden
8. Wenn Mein Schatz Hochzeit Macht
9. Ging Heut Morgen Ubers Feld
10. Ich Hab Ein Gluhend Messer
11. Die Zwei Blauen Augen Von Meinem Schatz
12. Ich Atmet' Einen Linden Duft
13. Liebst Du Um Schonheit
14. Blicke Mir Nicht In Die Lieder
15. Um Mitternacht
16. Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen
17. Nun Will Die Sonn' So Hell Aufgehn
18. Nun Seh' Ich Wohl, Warum So Dunkle Flammen
19. Wenn Dein Mutterlein
20. Oft Denk' Ich, Sie Sind Nur Ausgegangen
See all 21 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Mahler and Genz will be pleased Dec 1 2004
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Still young (age 31) German baritone Stephen Genz continues to traverse the world of lieder in this finely produced and recorded CD with his regular partner, British pianist Roger Vignoles.

The pair turned out an outstanding CD of Beethoven lieder some years back and both are well known on the lieder circuit. Genz has recorded lieder by Wolf and Beethoven as well as other works by two Bachs (J.S. and C.P.E). He collaborated last year on a CD of Mozart arias with his brother, a tenor.

So this foray into the world of Mahler is expected for the young baritone, whose vocal timbre seems to me more baritenor than baritone. Genz lacks the bass depth and profundity peers such as Matthias Goerne and Andreas Schmidt.

Genz was trained by the greatest lieder singer of the past 100 years, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. You hear his teacher's influence early on in this recording when Genz hectors and emotes like his forebear in "Ablosun im Sommer" from Lieder und Gesange and later in "Ich hab ein gluhend Messer" from the Wayfarer songs.

I am not much of a fan of this style, developed after World War II and perfected by Fish-Dish. It is a style that suggests the songs are songspiel, small opera if you will, that are intended to be acted out as well as sung. Lieder singers in the prewar era sang the songs with vocal beauty and verve, paying no attention to the now prevalent idea that Mahler's great angst and remorse should be presented in the tunes.

So I qualify my ranking of this recording, which otherwise has everything going for it. Genz is in typical remarkable style, belting out the emotional songs with ear-splitting volume and whispering the softer, more subdued songs about dead children from Kindertotenlieder.

It is in this group of songs where pianist Vignoles does his most splendid work, especially in the first song, "Nun will die Sonn so hell aufgehn" and later during "In diesem Wetter, in diesem Braus".

No listener, regardless of his or her bias in vocal music, will deny the greatness of interpretation and execution in these songs about dead and dying children. The Genz-Vignoles partnership on these grief-induced songs is the pinnacle of achievement here.

Finally, the notes to this well-filled production are very fine, detailing the history and circumstances of Mahler's song and part writing in two languages and including brief biographical sketches on singer and pianist. Texts and translations are provided in English, French and German. This is an outstanding issue no Mahler afficianado will want to be without.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner on all accounts Feb. 16 2007
By Pater Ecstaticus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Some reviewers almost condemn Stephan Genz for his 'overacting'(?), but how could this be, while at the same time his singing is so refined? I find Stephan Genz' rendition of these songs really marvellous, especially excelling in the finer and darker shadings of the Kindertotenlieder. Maybe some people mistake more extensive vocal coloring for 'emotional excess'? Whatever. In my view, these songs are essentially musical tableaus describing one or more aspect(s) of the 'condition humaine', covering all possible states of mind and emotions. As such, Stephan Genz' lavishly full-throated but at the same time stylishly articulated rendition is to my feeling just fine.
With Stephan Genz we have maybe gained a new Mahler-singer along the ranks of such great singers like Thomas Hampson and Dame Janet Baker. He combines vocal finesse and 'lightness of touch' (sometimes his singing sounds almost lyrical in a tenor-like way) with enough sense of emotional gravitas. Surely, Stephan Genz - still only in his early thirties - equals any other of the best singers in this repertoire, and maybe sometimes superior, if only because of the fact that Stephan Genz' mother tongue is German (which one does indeed notice).
And then there is the really marvellous playing of Roger Vignoles, at least as insightful as Stephan Genz' singing, I think. I have maybe never heard more beautiful playing in these songs. I think Roger Vignoles' playing is as subtle and at the same time as mellifluous as can be, and indeed very 'orchestral' in sound, 'conjuring up the sounds and figurations of an orchestra' as is mentioned in the excellent booklet essay, written by mr. Vignoles himself. Roger Vignoles in his playing evokes so many shades and colors from the notes - all savoring them to the full, making for a full-bodied, luxurious sound - that I for one really don't miss any of the instrumentation of the orchestral versions which we have gotten used to (and which many people seem to prefer above the piano versions of these songs)...
This recording of the piano versions of these songs eminently display their great worth as 'whole & complete' musical art-works, I think. IMHO this recording can stand beside the 'classic' recording of 'Mahler's Songs of Youth' by Dame Janet Baker and Geoffrey Parsons on the same label.
Anyhow, when you are partial to the piano versions of Mahler's songs, the this is an album to own and cherish. One really hopes to hear (even) more (ripened) Mahler from this singer in the future. Highly recommended.

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