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CD Review

Hugo Wolf

Lieder nach Heine und Lenau

Stephen Genz, baritone
Roger Vignoles, piano
Hyperion CDA67343 67m DDD
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I am not a huge fan of Hugo Wolf but it must be acknowledged that this composer was one of the finest song writers of the 19th Century. His prowess and versatility in the repertoire certainly yielded some beautiful treasures.

These collections featuring songs by Heinrich Heine and Nikolaus Lenau are both little gems. Heine's song cycle entitled, 'Liederstrauss is wonderfully evocative with a certain delicacy of touch and voice that is well captured by Genz and Vignoles.

In the various other Heine songs, Stephan Genz brings an admirable clarity and excellent diction to proceedings. Songs such as 'Es war ein alter König' and 'Spatherbstnebel' are quite ravishing and Vignoles is also a sympathetic partner.

The Lenau songs are longer in construction with 'Abenbilder' lasting a full nine minutes. Genz is again on top form throughout and this song is particularly beautiful all round. This is indeed an excellent project and deserves the complete attention of all song enthusiasts. The evocative front cover and copious notes only add to the allure of this exemplarily recorded release.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech