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Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, November 2019

In preparation for the 250th anniversary of the death of Beethoven, several labels have been scrambling to release boxed sets, some complete and some merely a “best of,” to celebrate.

Elisabeth Breuer has one of those “pure”-toned voices of the old German school (think of Elfride Trötschel or Gundula Janowitz) that scarcely exist any more, but here she is. … I’d like to put in a plug here, before I forget, for the fairly lively and sensitive playing of pianist Bernadette Bartos, who is excellent throughout this recital. Unlike Edelmann, who is the most famous singer here and is dependably excellent, Trost was unknown to me, yet I was really knocked out by his beautiful tone, vocal and breath control and interpretive skills.

An outstanding disc of early Beethoven lieder, then, highly recommended! © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2019

Though Beethoven wrote over sixty Lieder, on disc they are not very often visited, this Naxos release, recorded in Vienna, being the first in a new complete series. He had a high regard for the poems of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which he used extensively, including here the songs written as part of the incidental music for Goethe’s staged drama, Egmont. In content the songs make unhappy listening, often dealing with death, unrequited love, and sadness, and only seldom lifted in such songs as Das liebe Katzchen and Traute Henriette. We find the most impressive lieder are given to the male voice, and particularly to the tenor, the disc opening with Rainer Trost in a perfectly shaped reading of Klage (Lament), and he rather steals my attention throughout the disc, his lyric quality ideally cast. He spends much of his career on the operatic stage, and it is that aspect that brings a liquid tonal quality to the Austrian baritone, Paul Armin Edelmann. Though the enclosed artist biography omits to state this, he is son of one of the most famous basses of yesteryear, the great Otto Edelmann. On the other hand, the soprano, who I have much praised in the past, Elisabeth Breuer, does not find a great deal that presents her very attractive voice. They all enjoy having a very sensitive pianist in Bernadette Bartos, who moves perfectly in accord with the vocal line. The recording is of excellent quality. © 2019 David's Review Corner





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