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Krishan Oberoi
American Record Guide, May 2018

Marx’s music is something of a revelation; it has all the wit, sophistication, and charm of late Richard Strauss, minus the irony. With the exception of Braunfels’s Three Chinese Songs, the songs on the album are heard in an order decided on by the performers. This strategy is particularly effective in the ordering of the seven songs by Marx—they are arranged to maximize the contrasts and to create a kind of arc from the beginning of the set to its end.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold is no doubt the most famous composer here, and his customary shimmering orchestrations and lyrical warmth infuse his four songs. The playfulness of Korngold’s ‘Ständchen’ evokes his charming work as a Hollywood film composer. This brief Korngold set is followed by five songs by Pfitzner, which, in their relatively subdued and introspective musical language, make a compelling contrast with the other works on the album. The last of the Pfitzner set is ‘Nacht’, a strophic song that, despite its Brahmsian harmonic language, recalls Schubert in its basic structure and in its casting of soloist and orchestra as equal partners. Banse, singing with impressive point and resonance at the top of her range, nevertheless has a dark, full-bodied sound in the middle register favored here by Pfitzner.

Juliane Barnes is a thoroughly accomplished interpreter, and she is greatly aided on this album by the intelligent musical direction of Sebastian Weigle. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, March 2018

The choice of Joseph Marx’s songs has been particularly well made. These songs are ecstatic or quietly exhilarating, but always evocative examples of Marx’s art, each one rivetingly personal.

Juliane Banse sings four of Korngold’s set of Sechs einfache Lieder, Op. 9. She’s charming in the third of the set, Das Ständchen, a vibrant example of the art of composer and singer, and she brings enough tonal warmth to bear on the beautiful Liebesbriefchen to ensure it comes across with sufficient vibrancy. That element of aliveness is a given in Sommer, where the orchestration is rich and poignant.

Sebastian Weigle directs the Munich Radio Orchestra with finesse and subtlety and it’s a pleasure to hear their contributions. The acoustic is generous, and perhaps a little too generous. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, February 2018

This programme brings together some of the most seductive songs of Joseph Marx, Walter Braunfels, Korngold and Pfitzner in a nicely balanced selection. All are lovingly wrapped in orchestral garb, which is a particularly attractive proposition with the Pfitzner songs—until now available on record, so far as I can see, only with piano accompaniment.

…Banse is never less than convincing on her own terms, especially in the Pfitzner numbers: she is especially excellent in the wonderful ‘Venus mater’, the most touching of five included here.

Sebastien Weigle and the Munich Radio Orchestra offer warm, sensitive accompaniment. …an enjoyable programme, lovingly performed. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, January 2018

The soloist here, Juliane Banse, a former pupil of the great opera and lieder singer Brigitte Fassbaender, has excelled in lieder herself. She has recorded several collections on CD, notably Schumann, Brahms and Berg. Clearly Banse is in her element with these lied selections. She gives warm, deeply committed performances. Her attractive voice cuts through the often-rich orchestral sound with ease. Impressive too is Banse’s high register with noticeably fine presence and clarity.

The impressive Münchner Rundfunkorchester under Sebastian Weigle provide sterling support that feels fresh and spontaneous. The disc was recorded in Munich at Studio 1, Funkhaus des Bayerischen Rundfunk. The sound quality is first-class, warm and clear with presence. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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