Arnold Schoenberg - Gurre-Lieder (2015) 2CDs
Barbara Haveman (soprano), Claudia Mahnke (mezzo), Brandon Jovanovich (tenor)
Gerhard Siegel (tenor), Thomas Bauer (baritone), Johannes Martin Kränzle (speaker)
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, conducted by Markus Stenz
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 545 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 251 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical, Choral | Label: Hyperion | # CDA68081/2 | Time: 01:48:01
Markus Stenz and the Gürzenich Orchestra Köln have demonstrated a special aptitude for performing large scale post-Romantic works, notably the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, which they recorded for Oehms Classics as a series of hybrid SACDs. They have followed that impressive cycle with what is probably the most Mahlerian work Arnold Schoenberg ever composed, the massive Gurrelieder for solo voices, multiple choruses, and large orchestra. This 2015 Hyperion release is impressive in its crisp details, vibrant tone colors, and startling clarity, all of which are evident in the opening instrumental passages in the Prelude, and which continue through the nearly operatic vocal parts, which have remarkable presence in the face of an orchestra that exceeds Wagnerian proportions. The recording is presented on two CDs that offer extraordinary sound for digital stereo, and the only disappointment is that this wasn't released as a multichannel recording. Listeners who find Schoenberg's modernist music difficult may be more receptive to this cantata, which is his most openly Romantic score and strongly reminiscent of Wagner's music dramas. Highly recommended.