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Korngold: Songs, Vol. 1 ()

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As a young Viennese composer who eagerly absorbed the musical ideas of his predecessors Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss, Erich Wolfgang Korngold naturally took an avid interest in writing songs, many of which reflected his models. This album by soprano Britta Stallmeister, baritone Uwe Schenker-Primus, and pianist Klaus Simon introduces a series by Naxos devoted to Korngold's songs and starts with youthful efforts in the genre. While these lyrical gems rarely pass three minutes in length and seem rather modest in their emotional range, each offering a single mood that is treated simply and directly, these songs have fascinating harmonic progressions and melodic details that are worthy of a mature master. Korngold's genius for surprising modulations and unexpected chords evoke Schubert's advanced harmonies, and his subtle use of chromatic shadings in major keys is quite suggestive of Mahler. The performances are warm and engaging, with Stallmeister featured in the... Hide synopsis

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