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Ferne Geliebte

Ferne Geliebte by Christian Gerhaher
Released: Jun 2012
Label: Sony Classical
Beethoven and Haydn represent the "first" Viennese school on this disc, while Berg and Schoenberg ride for the locale's famously atonal "second" school. Another through-line is that all these songs should appeal to the lovelorn. Though mezzos and sopranos often sing these pieces, Gerhaher makes them sound like they belong in his baritone. The opening Beethoven is a master class of control and shading. And the 15-song Schoenberg set "The Book of Hanging Gardens" is equally touching; it's hard to remember that it's supposed to be difficult music. Fine piano accompaniment from Gerold Huber, too.
Seth Colter Walls

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