CD (3 items)
✓ in stock
06 May 2021
"Prégardien provides a notably fine and sensitive performance throughout; he carefully judges exactly how much emphasis to give every syllable, with often tiny inflections in his voice on a single note."Music Web International, 13-1-2022
Is this an hommage to Schubert? Or just to a leading Lieder tenor of our time? Probably this box is both and it represents a clear reference for anyone who is a seasoned Lieder lover or a neophyte wanting to approach this genre.
I don’t say anything new when I state that the three Schubert’s Lieder cycles are the the pinnacle in the history of the art song. Not by chance any serious male singer wants to record at least one of these masterpieces.
Christoph Prégardien has been through the last two decades one of the most important and interesting voices confronting this engaging repertoire. He has taken an innovative approach in the hystory of interpretation, a way of singing that is linked to his consolidated experience as a Baroque tenor.
The three discs originally issued met with the unanimous acclaim from critics and consumers. They immediately turned up to be reference versions of each cycle.
So, this box comes as the discographic crowning achievement of Prégardien’s career and it is easy to predict it will be the reference version of one of human history highest musical moments: Schubert’s most complex and most beloved output in the Lieder medium.
About ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’: Prégardien, 2008 vintage, definitely joins the tenor Schöne Müllerin shortlist. (Gramophone)
About ‘Die Schwanengesang’: ‘While it is absurd to speak of an outright “winner” in such a crowded field, Prégardien and the ever-illuminating Staier join Schreier, Fischer-Dieskau and Brigitte Fassbneder on my roster of indispensable Schwanengesang recordings.’ (Gramophone)About ‘Die Winterreise’: The Voice is in superb form, sensing out the underlying pulse and the minutest inflections of longing, delight, determination and soul-weariness within each lithe, live line of melody. (BBC Music Magazine). This is beautiful singing by a master of his craft, and Prégardien brings to the cycle his early-music-specialisation qualities of precise diction, tuning and articulation. (Early Music Review)
Born 1956 in Limburg, Germany, Christoph Prégardien began his musical education as a choirboy. He then studied singing with Martin Gründler and Karlheinz Jarius in Frankfurt, Carla Castellani in Milan, Alois Treml in Stuttgart and attended Hartmut Höll’s lieder-class.
Widely regarded as among the foremost lyric tenors, Christoph Prégardien frequently collaborates with conductors such as Barenboim, Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Luisi, Metzmacher, Nagano, Sawallisch and Thielemann. His repertory spans a wide range from the great Baroque, Classical and Romantic Oratorios to 20th century works by Britten, Killmayer, Rihm, Stravinsky.
Recognized as an eminent recitalist, Christoph Prégardien is regularly welcomed at the major recital venues of Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna, Barcelona and Geneva, as well as during his concert tours throughout Italy, Japan and North America.
A longstanding collaboration unites him with his favourite piano partners Michael Gees and Andreas Staier. Soloist of choice for renowned orchestras, he performed with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Gewand-hausorchester Leipzig, London Philharmonia, Staatskapelle Dresden, Philharmonie de Radio France, the Montreal, Boston, St. Louis and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras.
An important part of his repertory has been recorded by labels such as BMG, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Sony, Erato, Challenge Classics and Teldec. He is represented on more than a hundred and twenty titles, including nearly all of his active repertoire. His recordings of German Romantic Lied repertory have been highly acclaimed by the public and press and have received international awards including the prestigious Orphée d’Or of the Académie du Disque Lyrique-Prix Georg Solti, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Edison Award, Cannes Classical Award
and Diapason d’Or.
As an opera singer, Christoph Prégardien has made stage appearences in major European houses, performing leading roles as Tamino (Zauberflöte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Seviglia), Fenton (Falstaff) and Monteverdi’s Ulisse. In Spring 2005, Christoph Prégardien sang the leading part in Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” at the Paris National Opera conducted by Sylvain Cambreling.
An important aspect in the musical life of Christoph Prégardien is his intensive and varied educational work. From 2000 to 2005 Christoph Prégardien was in charge of a vocal class at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich. Since the autumn of 2004, he is a professor at the Musikhochschule Köln. In a new combination of DVD and book, released in the serie “Schott Master Class”, he presents for the first time questions of singing technique and interpretation in word and picture. Film examples accompagny him during his lessons with masterclass students.
Christoph Prégardien now has a long-term cooperation with Challenge Classics. The first production on our label, released in February 2008, was Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin” with pianist Michael Gees. In the fall of 2008 “Schwanengesang” with pianist Andreas Staier followed and “Die schöne Müllerin” was awarded the Midem ‘Record of the Year’ 2009 at MIDEM, the world’s largest music industry trade fair. The duo Christoph Prégardien/Michael Gees also received the MIDEM ‘Vocal Recitals’ Award 2009. Throughout 2008 the recording received critical acclaim from many national and international magazines (Gramophone, Editor’s Choice & „Best of 2008“ among others).
Undoubtedly one of the most prominent harpsichord and forte piano performers in the world, Andreas Staier embarked upon a solo career in 1986 and, since then, his indisputable musical mastery has made its mark on the interpretation of baroque, classical and romantic repertoire.
Born in Göttingen, Andreas studied modern piano and harpsichord in Hannover and Amsterdam. For three years, he was the harpsichordist of Musica Antiqua Köln with whom he toured and recorded extensively.
As a soloist, Andreas Staier performs throughout Europe, the United States and Japan with orchestras such as Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées Paris.
Andreas has been invited to leading international festivals including the Festival de La Roque d'Anthéron, Festival de Saintes, Festival de Montreux, Edinburgh International Festival, Styriarte Graz, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Schlweswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Bach-Fest Leipzig, Bachtage Berlin, Bachwoche Ansbach and Kissinger Sommer. He has also performed in all the major venues in Europe, America and Japan, including Konzerthaus, Wien; Konzerthaus, Philharmonie, Berlin; Kölner Philharmonie; Gewandhaus Leipzig; Alte Oper Frankfurt; Tonhalle Düsseldorf; Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, London; De Singel Antwerp; Concertgebouw Amsterdam ; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels ; Tonhalle Zürich ; Cité de la Musique, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Ircam, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris ; Teatro della Pergola, Florence ; Sala Filarmonica, Roma ; Toppan Hall, Suntory Hall, Tokyo ; Carnegie Hall, New York.
Andreas Staier has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Anne Sofie von Otter, Pedro Memelsdorff and Alexej Lubimov, and his close collaboration with tenor Christoph Prégardien is attested to in their recordings of German lieder by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Lachner and Brahms. He has formed a highly successful trio with violinist Daniel Sepec and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras; they have recently recorded their first CD (Beethoven) for Harmonia Mundi.
In 2001, Andreas gave the world premiere of 'Contra-Sonata', a work for fortepiano by the French composer Brice Pauset, which he also recorded for AEON.
His extensive discography has won great critical awards from the international press, whether for BMG, Teldec Classics (with whom he had an exclusive contract for seven years) or Harmonia Mundi for whom he released his last five recordings: Mozart's Sonatas in two CDs, Haydn concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester, Hamburg 1734 (with the German harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim). More recently, he has recorded Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano with Daniel Sepec performing on Beethoven's own instrument and a Mozart CD performing on Johann Andreas Stein's vis-à-vis instrument with Christine Schornsheim, which was awarded the Diapason d'Or and the CHOC du Monde de La Musique.
Prégardien provides a notably fine and sensitive performance throughout; he carefully judges exactly how much emphasis to give every syllable, with often tiny inflections in his voice on a single note.
Music Web International, 13-1-2022
There are many beautiful recordings of these three great cycles, but there shall always be a place on our shelves for a more beautiful recording.
The whole set is a triumph for Christoph Prégardien's refined interpretations, and I urge readers to sample it. I wouldn't be surprised if more than one were to place their orders at once.
Musicweb International, 26-8-2021