Related Reviews
MusicWeb International
'This is lieder singing in the highest division! The twelve songs that constitute this cycle...may not have been more beautifully sung in recent times.'
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Das Opernglas
'One does not know what one should admire more about Boesch's interpretation, the extremely beautiful, velvety voice, his subtle interpretation of every word, the ever-natural-sounding singing or his ability to reach the heart of a song...'
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Pizzicato
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Opera Lounge
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P2
CD of the Week: 'Florian Boesch, and the outstanding pianist Malcolm Martineau, use Mahler's piano version to re-interpret the songs in the most refined and precise manner.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'...the way he goes from the virile nightly dialogue of “Waldesgesprach” so well characterised to the nocturnal hush and unearthly stillness of “Mondnacht” is extraordinary.'
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The Arts Desk
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Opera Today
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Classical Iconoclast
'Although I've heard dozens of performances over the last 40 years, this took my breath away.'
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Gramophone
'The profound sense of leave-taking in the final Wayfarer song draws some of the most coloristically subtle singing I’ve yet heard from Boesch.'
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The Sunday Times
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Audiophile Sound
5 Stars
'...there is a sense of rapt concentration, acute emotional involvement and some of the most ravishing sounds you are ever likely to hear from a baritone.'
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Florian Boesch - Schumann & Mahler: Lieder - BBC Music Magazine


01 January 2018
BBC Music Magazine
Jessica Duchen
5 Stars

Performance: 5/5

Recording: 5/5 

From Schumann to Mahler is possibly not as large a step as it may look. The latter's Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) stand in a direct line from Schubert through Schumann and more, with shared themes including journeying, lost love, and the solace —sometimes — of nature. Schumann's Op. 39 Liederkreis traverses a satisfying range of emotion, including tenderness and ecstasy, but not far beneath its surface lurks the loneliness — plus a hint of impending danger — that makes it an excellent companion piece to the Mahler. The Goethe settings from Wilhelm Meister, also dealing with the isolated, death-haunted artist, are also a well-chosen treat. Florian Boesch's flexible and rich-grained baritone blends with the colourful support of Malcolm Martineau at the piano to offer splendidly characterised accounts of the Schumann: the world-weariness of 'In der Fremde' sets the underlying mood for the programme. There are excellent depictions of varied voices — the Lorelei in Waldgesprach', or the chirrupy birds in Mahler's 'Ging heut' morgen iiber's Feld' — but the tone remains idiomatically intimate, never drifting towards the operatic. The Schumann's beauties are many: the floating silkiness of `Mondnachf, the subdued terrors of `Zwielichf. It's in the Mahler, though, that Boesch and Martineau reach new heights: the final song, in which the protagonist's steps progress at funereal pace and the linden tree's blossom falls over him as a shroud, has all the agonising yet semi-sardonic heartbreak of the First Symphony (the material of which it fed), but packed into less than six minutes. The emotional impact is devastating.


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Schumann & Mahler: LiederSchumann & Mahler: Lieder