German baritone Matthias Goerne, one of the world’s most renowned Lieder singers, is joined by pianist Seong-Jin Cho, a star of the younger generation, in an album of late Romantic works by Richard Wagner, Hans Pfitzner and Richard Strauss.
The new album opens with Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder, five songs from the late 1850s directly inspired by the composer’s infatuation for the author and poet Mathilde Wesendonck, and includes Pfitzner’s sublime settings of poetry by, among others, Heinrich Heine and Joseph von Eichendorff. The latter’s Im Abendrot (At Sunset), as set by the octogenarian Strauss in 1948 for his Four Last Songs, brings the album to a haunting conclusion. Other highlights include Ruhe, meine Seele! and Morgen! – the first and last in a set of four songs written by Strauss as a wedding present for his wife, the soprano Pauline de Ahna – Pfitzner’s Abendrot and Strauss’s enchanting Traum durch die Dämmerung.