Nathan Berg: Lieder Recital

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Label: ATMA
Catalog: ACD22571
Format: CD

Nathan Berg - Baritone, Julius Drake - Piano

This program could easily be re-titled “Songs of Death, Dreams & Parting”. Though four composers, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Strauss are represented, the choice of songs (at least in the case of the first three composers) is focused on sunset, death or the lament for love lost. British pianist Julius Drake expertly accompanies Saskatchewan-born bass-baritone, Nathan Berg on this his debut solo recording. They work beautifully together to create the tenderness, drama and longing inherent in these romantic works. Death is explored alternately as terrifying, as in Schubert’s familiar Erlkönig, or as a comforting balm or tender release, as in his Der Tod und das Mädchen, or simply as a journey in Schumann’s Lied eines Schmiedes (Song of the Blacksmith). At any rate Schubert’s gift for story telling, Schumann’s tenderness, Brahms’ dark resignation to fate and Strauss’ soothing dreamscapes are skilfully delivered in this excellent recording. Berg’s deep, profound tonings are gorgeously virile and downright chilling in the more fearsome portrayals, yet, on occasions when more affection is called for, he can carry in that manliness a certain emotional restraint. This is a superb voice delivering both beauty and vigour to a richly crafted program. Reviewed by Dianne Wells. Reprinted from The Wholenote Magazine

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