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Richard Fairman
Gramophone, October 2017

BERG, A.: Wozzeck (Zürich Opera, 2005) (NTSC) ACC-20363
BERG, A.: Wozzeck (Zürich Opera, 2015) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10363

Scrupulously sung, acted with a gentle honesty, Gerhaher’s Wozzeck is vulnerable, plaintive, in short all-too-touchingly human. It is exactly what we expect from him that there should be an eloquence to his every utterance. Is it right that Wozzeck should come across as something of a poet? Yes, because the music adds its own poetry, and Gerhaher draws from it an expressiveness that pierces the heart.

This is a high-class ensemble all round. Gun-Brit Barkmin is a fascinating Marie, charismatic like a young Anja Silja. Brandon Jovanovich struts his strong, incisive tenor as the Drum Major, Mauro Peter is a sympathetic Andres, and Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke and Lars Woldt engage in a macabre comic double-act as the Captain and the Doctor.

With precise, clear playing from the Philharmonia Zürich under conductor Fabio Luisi, everything is in place for the technical team at Accentus Music to deliver a DVD of top-notch quality and seal the recording’s success. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Nicholas Sheffo
Fulvue Drive-in, January 2017

…a very interesting entry in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (also recorded in 2015) from the Operhaus Zurich with Fabio Luisi conducting and Christian Gerhaher in the title role of this surreal opera about how dark and ugly the world is and can get. In a smart visual move, the people are made to blend into the background of the stage, all looking aged and like they are part of aged paper, brownish beige with line, agedness and a sense of slight dread visually that makes it seem alive, but with a touch of death, the dead and mortality. That makes it one of the most interesting stage operas visually we’ve seen in a while and to pull this off is not as easy as it looks. © 2017 Fulvue Drive-in Read complete review



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, January 2017

Into this grotesque setting, the acclaimed baritone Christian Gerhaher gives us his interpretation as the hollowest, most frightened and lost Wozzeck imaginable. …Gerhaher’s strength lies in his precise, pin-point singing—I’ve never heard each note hit so scrupulously—his subtle vocal acting, and his total immersion in the jerky puppetry of the staging.

Everyone else rises to his level, making this an exceptional cast without a weak link. The superb dramatic soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin, who could well be the best Salome of our time, has every note of Marie’s role firmly in place; she is so secure she can play with a range of emotions from freakish to terrified, but the staging allows no poignancy for this flaming-haired rag doll. The secondary male characters of the Captain, Doctor, and Drum Major are show-stopping in their vividness, not to mention exceptional vocalism. Fabio Luisi extracts world-class playing from the orchestra, captured in perfectly balanced, detailed sound. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review




Neil Fisher
Gramophone, November 2016

BERG, A.: Wozzeck (Zürich Opera, 2005) (NTSC) ACC-20363
BERG, A.: Wozzeck (Zürich Opera, 2015) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10363

Brandon Jovanovich’s muscular tenor gives real thrust to his priapic Drum Major, and Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke’s Captain sings with silky venom. The dramatic chiaroscuro comes from the orchestra. Fabio Luisi’s incisive conducting slices artfully between Berg’s fatty cuts of late Romanticism and his queasy dissonances and eerie number-games. The orchestra, rapier-sharp and cutting to the quick, offer much more than Swiss precision. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, October 2016

Alban Berg’s masterly 12-tone Wozzeck remains a touchstone of 20th century opera, and Andreas Homoki’s 2015 Zurich staging—despite some cartoonishness—brings out the tension in this relentlessly downbeat tale of madness and murder: Christian Gerhaher’s Wozzeck and Gun-Brit Barkmin’s Marie are dramatically and musically superlative. In Capuleti, Vincenzo Bellini’s riff on Romeo and Juliet, the women singing the star-crossed lovers have juicy roles; in this 2015 Zurich production, Joyce DiDonato (Romeo) and Olga Kulchynska (Giulietta) sing with beauty and power. © 2016 The Flip Side Read complete review





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