Having performed for years together on stage, Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes have now released their first album together, dedicated to Schumann’s Leiderkreis and Kernerlieder. First reviews for the new Harmonia Mundi recording are now in:

Goerne has been dipping his toes into Wagnerian Heldenbariton and even German bass repertoire, but here, in Schumann lieder, he reverts to the voice category that made him famous. His lyric baritone is still in fine fettle for this programme with the great Norwegian Schumann pianist Andsnes. Neither song collection is rare, though the Heinrich Heine Liederkreis is generally coupled with Dichterliebe (to words by the same poet). Both works here suit these artists’ musical sensibility and Goerne’s scrupulous articulation of the texts. His lyrical line in the hymnlike Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden and Andsnes’s cheery refrain in Erstes Grün show artists who are performing in complete harmony.

Sunday Times

 The past few years have brought several outstanding recordings of the latter cycle from lyric baritones, but Goerne’s darker, rougher-hewn instrument sheds an entirely different light on these songs of love, loss and exile…And though Goerne can be mightily impressive in declamatory mode, he still commands a matchless legato…Andsnes is noisily exuberant in the ‘Wanderer’ songs, gleefully aware that he’s never going to be in any danger of overwhelming this particular partner.


“One of Goerne’s great assets as a singer of German lied (song) is the sheer beauty of his voice. But beyond his beauty of sound lies a rare marriage of sincerity, emotional depth, and unforced identification with the emotions expressed by the women and men of these songs. Goerne never sounds like he’s an opera singer striving to let his hair down and convince you that he is one with Schumann’s music. He simply is. When he slows down during a phrase, you never imagine him thinking, “This will sound more convincing if I stretch this out a bit.” Rather, he feels the words and music and obeys what his heart tells him to do … Andsnes seems at one with Goerne, more intent on supporting his expression in the piano postludes than making his own statement. Together they make beautiful music.”


Nach seiner mehr als zwanzig Jahre zurückliegenden Aufnahme von Schumanns Liederkreis op. 24 (mit Vladimir Ashkenazy) hat Bariton Matthias Goerne nun eine neue Deutung dieses Werkes vorgelegt, gepaart mit den Kerner-Liedern op. 35. Sein Partner am Klavier heißt nun Leif Ove Andsnes, der mit seinem variablen, sehr sensiblen Spiel einen wesentlichen Beitrag zum Gelingen dieses Albums beiträgt.


Die Liebe bringt Hoffnung, Glück und Wonne, aber auch Sehnsucht, Schmerz und Leiden. In seinem Liederkreis nach Heinrich Heine spürt Robert Schumann diesen wechselnden, manchmal auch gegensätzlichen Empfindungen nach – zu erleben in einer neuen Aufnahme mit dem Bariton Matthias Goerne und dem Pianisten Leif Ove Andsnes.


Source: harmonia mundi