As a unifying concept for an album, the address Number 7 Theobaldgasse, Vienna, is both functional and fascinating: from 1908 until the Anschluss of 1938, this apartment building had been the home of the family of Julius Korngold, father of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, as well as the residence of conductor Bruno Walter, and a place often visited over the years by Gustav Mahler, Karl Goldmark, Alexander Zemlinsky, Giacomo Puccini, and Julius Bittner, the composers represented on this 2009 Telos release. A number of singers were also guests at this musical address, among them Lotte Lehman, Maria Jeritza, and Selma Kurz, so evenings of singing were frequent events. For Hausmusik, soprano Sylvia Greenberg and pianist David Aronson have chosen art songs that were of the time period and of an intimate nature appropriate for domestic music-making, and the selections seem well-suited for the singer's fluid and delicate voice and the accompanist's sensitive playing. Because the tone is lyrical for almost all of the songs, and the melodies and harmonies are for the most part typical of post-Romantic Viennese composers, the program may be criticized for lacking variety, and the music may be a little rich for some tastes. With this caveat understood, this is still an attractive recital, which Greenberg makes even more appealing with her winning expression, warm vocal tone, clear enunciation, and accurate intonation. Aronson is well-attuned to Greenberg's phrasing and pacing, and his playing is never less than sympathetic and carefully timed to her choices. The reproduction is close to the performers and comfortable, so the impression of the intimacy of a home recital is reinforced.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
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