Recital Suggestions

'Modern Times’ – Musik des Aufbruchs

‘A magnificent and important recording,’ comments Jochen Hubmacher in Deutschlandfunk. For this multiple award-winning programme (Diapason Découverte in the eponymous magazine, the Diamant d’Opéra in Opéra Magazine and 5-Star-Tip in Fono Forum), Christian Immler and Helmut Deutsch have selected 27 songs and ballads written between 1916 and 1937  set beside Robert Schumann’s timeless Dichterliebe.

Impressive not only in their manifold styles, satirical social critique stands side by side lascivious late romantic expression and grotesque cabaret to create a kaleidoscopic picture of the time.

Hélène Cao in Diapason writes:

This recital should propel Christian Immler – onetime alto in the Tölzer Knabenchor, sublime in the St John Passion conducted by Harnoncourt in 1985 – to the first ranks of his generation’s lieder singers… His superlative diction and the remarkable malleability of his line unite to offer an expressive, precise and unique contour to each song… In the Grosz and Eisler Ballads, he releases even more of his declamatory rhetoric and displays the full extent of his theatrical temperament…by all accounts, Helmut Deutsch also has a heck of a good time!

Christoph Zimmermann in Fono Forum writes:

An Absolute Must-Know (***** 5 stars)

Immler’s singing could easily hold its own in strict Belcanto terms. The artist is so convincing, above all through the sculpted text-relatedness of his interpretations, that one would be inclined to rank him with the likes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich Henschel or Christian Gerhaher. Immler’s stylistic breadth is impressive, his theatrical temperament inspiring, and all supported by the pianistic sovereignty of Helmut Deutsch.

Richard Wigmore in The Gramophone writes:

With his personable high baritone – mellow yet capable of an incisive edge – and keen intelligence, Immler convinces equally in the mystery of the Zemlinsky songs (sung in flawless English), the luminous Gál songs and the mordant ballads of Eisler and Grosz. In the latter he characterises with a sly, acidic wit (I loved his Louis Armstrong moment in Grosz’s ‘Ballade vom Seemann Kuttel Daddeldu’), without becoming over-knowing.

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‚From the New World‘ – Songs by Barber, Bernstein, Carter, Korngold, Eisler and Porter

This recital showcases the great range of styles associated with American song. Representing the classic song cycle are Barber's Hermit Songs and Korngold's Songs of the Clown, based on texts from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and written at the height of his Hollywood film score success.

Eisler's Hollywood Songbook features songs with influences from Schubert song cycles to serialism and cabaret, whilst Bernstein's Oif Mayn Khas'neh (At My Wedding) is a raucous dismemberment of the Jewish klezmer style.

Cole Porter was one of the most prolific songwriters for the musical theatre stage on Broadway, noted for his style, wit and sophistication (extracts from Leeds International Concert Season).

Robert Cockroft in the Yorkshire Post writes:

Immler clearly relishes this repertoire and has the intelligence, technique and personality to bring it to vibrant life. His voice is astonishing in its range and quality, from a powerful profundo to a mahogany middle and incisive top. With fine accompaniments from Danny Driver, he showed Barber’s Hermit Songs for the masterpieces they are, phrased Elliott Carter’s Frost Songs with exceptional grace and dazzled us with Porter’s genius.

 

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Heine settings by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann

A ‚classic‘ recital programme including Schubert’s Schwanengesang (Heine settings) and Schumann’s opus 24, written in his ‘Liederjahr’ of 1840, which features the last song ‘Mit Myrten und Rosen‘ wherein he musically and textually hints at his wedding present for Clara -  known to us as his cycle Myrthen (opus 25). 

 

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