Stephan Genz

Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn

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The follow-up to their previous Mahler disc coupling the composer's three shorter song cycles, this disc by German baritone Stephan Genz and English pianist Roger Vignoles has as its program 13 of the composer's settings of poetry from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. As before, the results are outstanding. Genz is a warm-toned baritone with a smooth delivery that in no way compromises his expressivity, and his readings here are sensitive, intelligent, and soulful. Genz captures the spirit of the songs -- the haunting melancholy of "Revelge," the hilarious humor of "Lob des hohen Verstandes," the beguiling whimsy of "Rheinlegenhchen," the brawny bluster of "Der Schildwache Nachtlied," the droll irony of "Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt," and the sublime simplicity of "Urlicht" -- in performances that convey Mahler's delicate balance of artless naïvety and artful sophistication. As always, Vignoles is a discrete but distinctive accompanist who always supports Genz and still makes his presence felt through his well-judged balances. The recorded sound is dry but detailed.

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