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Wonderful singer; so-so conductor.,
This review is from: Romantische Arien (Audio CD)
It is by now trite that Gerhaher is among the best current German male singer (not limited to any particular fach). His articulation is immaculate, and he has a tremendous musical sense. The tone is light but can become powerful if required. The dynamic range is good, and listening to this album, one can appreciate why he, in 2010, was chosen the best operatic performer in his country in the place of the likes of Jonas Kaufmann.
Having said that, I do not consider this operatic debut album by Gerhaher a complete success.
The excerpts from some much lessor known arias from late 18th to early 19th century German operas are not just arias, but operatic scenes. While CG has done a very fine job in his vocal depictions, the orchestra is hardly in sync dramatically most, if not all, the time. It is better in the Schumann opera excerpt, but in the Schubert excerpts as well as the Nicolai excerpts, the orchestra sounds totally clueless. The reason of course is that of the conductor's.
Harding is unable to grasp the dramatic elements involved in those scenes. Such sort of orchestral 'accompaniment' hardly served the sung texts, and the singer is all too often left to a solo stand.
This happening in most of the tracks leave the listeners to dramatic and eventually musical frustration, for nor is the conductor able to discern the musical 'styles' in the various composers' works!The various pieces from different operas sound as though they are Daniel Hardings own 'arranged' versions, not the composers': Nicolai, Schubert, Weber ...they all sound alike in style without any sense of individual musical nuances or inflections.
Nor was the orchestra under Harding capable of depicting the different dramatic moments called for all too urgently in the texts themselves.
The major distinction between opera and lieder, alas has not been fully realised by the entire ensemble, despite highly polished singing by CG.