Stella Doufexis / Werner Güra / Konrad Jarnot / Marlis Petersen

Brahms: Liebeslieder Walzer

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There are those who enjoy hearing Brahms' two sets of Liebeslieder-Walzer performed by a choir and those who enjoy hearing them sung by a quartet, and rarely do the two factions agree. For the former, the rich tone, lush ensemble, and broad rhythms of Robert Shaw's 1992 Atlanta Chorus recording are the way to go. For the latter, only the unique combination of individualism and interdependence of one singer to a part will do. And for the latter, there are two great recordings of the works available: the masterful Edith Mathis, Brigitte Fassbaender, Peter Schreier, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with pianist Karl Engel and Wolfgang Sawallisch from 1981 for DG and the sensual Barbara Bonney, Anne Sofie von Otter, Kurt Streit, and Olaf Bär with pianists Helmut Deutsch and Bengt Forsberg from 1994 for EMI.

Now with this 2006 disc from Harmonia Mundi, there is another soloistic recording as fine as the DG or EMI. With supple soprano Marlis Petersen, agile alto Stella Doufexis, able tenor Werner Güra, and brawny baritone Konrad Jarnot accompanied by pianists Christoph Berner and Camillo Radicke joining and dividing and pairing and separating in passionate but passing patterns of bliss and despair, these performances seem less studied than Mathis and less ironic than Bonney. Throughout, their tempos are as lightly lilting as their tone is sincere, and these performances are ultimately more direct, more forward, and perhaps more seductive than any other before them. Recorded with wonderful clarity and warmth in Berlin's Teldex Studio by Martin Sauer, the sound here is as one with the performances.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Liebeslieder Waltzes (18) for vocal quartet & piano, 4 hands, Op. 52
1
1:16 Amazon
2
0:44 Amazon
3
1:17 Amazon
4
0:47 Amazon
5
1:34 Amazon
6
2:27 Amazon
7
1:22 Amazon
8
1:24 Amazon
9
2:06 Amazon
10
0:58 Amazon
11
0:53 Amazon
12
0:42 Amazon
13
0:44 Amazon
14
0:57 Amazon
15
1:09 Amazon
16
1:15 Amazon
17
2:01 Amazon
18
1:29 Amazon
Quartets (3) for mixed voices & piano, Op. 64
19
5:05 Amazon
20
4:32 Amazon
21
3:02 Amazon
Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes (15) for vocal quartet & piano, 4 hands, Op. 65
22
0:44 Amazon
23
1:18 Amazon
24
1:23 Amazon
25
0:54 Amazon
26
1:10 Amazon
27
1:01 Amazon
28
1:05 Amazon
29
1:21 Amazon
30
1:28 Amazon
31
1:07 Amazon
32
0:43 Amazon
33
1:30 Amazon
34
1:41 Amazon
35
1:33 Amazon
36
2:51 Amazon
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