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Hindemith: Das Marienleben; Krenek & Strauss: Lieder
Paul Hindemith, Richard [1] Strauss, Ernst Krenek
Hindemith: Das Marienleben; Krenek & Strauss: Lieder
Genres: Pop, Classical


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A Really Wonderful Recording!
J. Anderson | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of Gould's wonderful later recordings, which features collaborations with vocalists. Gould always wanted to lead in the aesthetic realizations when he played with other musicians: hence, the main piece here--Hindemith's Das Marienleben--(settings of Rilke's lyrics) comes out sounding like a sonata (or extended piece) for piano and voice. Hindemith's gorgeously long, arching melodic vocal lines are perfectly puncuated by Gould's secco playing. Rumor has it that Gould had an amorous liason with Roxolana Roslak; in the featured cover photo the two could easily be construed as lovers: there is a strangely intimate and erotic ambiance to the photo. Anyway, they were perfectly matched artists in the realization of Hindemith's exquisite song cycle from the early '20s. As a bonus, a track of one of Strauss' Four Last Songs is added."
Hindemith of wonder
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 11/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A groundbreaking recording! Gould's way with Hindemith amounts to love. HIs recording of the sonatas is beautiful, and profound. He finds even more by way of Das Marienleben, finely sung by Roxolana Roslak. Gould's inerrancy lets him reveal the score as much as composer as pianist. This is music making as vital as breathing. Gould's ardent, wondrous musicianship creates some unearthly effects in the final three poems - Vom Tode Mariae (On the death of Mary). In the first of the three, he makes the piano literally echo figments of orchestral instruments -an oboe, even strings- so deft is his touch and pervasive his understanding. God-like playing, visionary musical ideas upon a richly endowed score (Gould called it the greatest song cycle ever composed, and perhaps proves it), and an artistic collaboration with Roslak that begins attracted to greatness and grows from there - this is an astonishing reading of a great piece. Gould gives his mind to music so directly, his playing is utterly unencumbered by any strain of ego. It's his greatest strength as an artist, and one worth cherishing because truth is restorative. It is life-giving. What more can be said in praise of an art? Whatever this man plays becomes as pure and selfless as he is, and this 2-disc recording stands among his finest achievements. Absolute recommendation."