Mojca Erdmann / Christian Gerhaher / Gerold Huber

Hugo Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch

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The songs of Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch are divided between male and female perspectives, so the cycle has built into it the variety of two singers. All but a few of the songs, which use German translations of poetry from an Italian collection, last less than two minutes. In his idiosyncratic post-Romantic style, Wolf deftly captures the essence of each poem by creating a miniature musical and emotional world. Soprano Mojca Erdmann, baritone Christian Gerhaher, and pianist Gerold Huber offer thoughtful, intelligent performances of the songs. Neither singer has a particularly large voice, and the recorded sound tends to emphasize their limitations. The sound is clean but very close, without much of a sense of atmosphere. Gerhaher can be counted on for thoughtful, penetrating interpretations, and he fully delivers here. He is especially effective in his ability to color his voice to emphasize the emotional temperature of each song. His understated, unmannered performances of "Sterb' ich, so hüllt in Blumen meine Glieder" and "Und steht Ihr früh am Morgen auf" are simply lovely highlights of the album. Erdmann has an immaculate tone that's on the bright side, and a warmer, more spacious ambience would have made it even more attractive. She is absolutely secure technically, but her performances don't have the variety of subtle shadings as Gerhaher's. Neither singer particularly projects the warmth that at least some of the songs seem to call for. Huber's playing is nuanced and rhythmically supple, but the recording makes the piano's sound unforgivingly dry.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Italienisches Liederbuch
1 2:24 Amazon
2 1:55 Amazon
3 1:43 Amazon
4 1:35 Amazon
5 1:49 Amazon
6 1:09 Amazon
7 2:00 Amazon
8 2:12 Amazon
9 2:02 Amazon
10 1:12 Amazon
11 2:32 Amazon
12 0:48 Amazon
13 0:43 Amazon
14 2:14 Amazon
15 1:44 Amazon
16 1:27 Amazon
17 2:12 Amazon
18 1:58 Amazon
19 2:09 Amazon
20 1:41 Amazon
21 1:09 Amazon
22 1:15 Amazon
23 2:01 Amazon
24 1:45 Amazon
25 0:58 Amazon
26 1:55 Amazon
27 1:54 Amazon
28 1:18 Amazon
29 1:50 Amazon
30 1:28 Amazon
31 1:35 Amazon
32 1:48 Amazon
33 2:28 Amazon
34 3:01 Amazon
35 3:36 Amazon
36 1:46 Amazon
37 1:32 Amazon
38 1:40 Amazon
39 1:39 Amazon
40 1:40 Amazon
41 1:53 Amazon
42 1:21 Amazon
43 1:08 Amazon
44 1:29 Amazon
45 1:25 Amazon
46 1:09 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick