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Dvorak: Zigeunerlieder, Songs & Duets / Genia Kuhmeier, mezzo-soprano, Bernarda Fink, soprano, Christoph Berner, piano

Album Summary

>Dvorak, Antonin : Zigeunermelodien (7), Op. 55
>Dvorak, Antonin : Moravian Duets (Moravske dvojzpevy) (9) for soprano, alto & piano, B. 62 (Op. 32)
>Dvorak, Antonin : Biblical Songs (Biblicke pisne) (10) for voice & orchestra, B. 189 (Op. 99)
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In 2004, Bernarda Fink released a recording of Dvorák songs that created a genuine sensation, winning numerous awards including a Diapason de l'Année. Now, eight years later, she returns to the music of Dvorák, this time teaming up with young soprano Genia Kühmeier for an album of solo songs and duets. Kühmeier takes the lead in the Gypsy Melodies, songs that blend a striking range of color with a subtle use of the folk idiom. A highlight of the disc is a selection of thirteen of the Moravian Duets, works that brought the young Dvorák fame far beyond his homeland. Completing this vocal portrait are Fink's solemn interpretations of the Biblical Songs, possibly Dvorák's finest effort in the genre.

The Guardian
Fink and Knhmeier sing [the Moravian duets] with great verve, avoiding the pitfalls of sentimentality and folksy cuteness that can so easily creep into this music. ...Knhmeier gives a big, passionate performance of the Op 55 Gypsy Songs, while Fink tackles the austere Biblical Songs, written while Dvorßk was homesick in the US. They suit her dark tone admirably.

Gramophone Magazine
Encouraged by Christoph Berner's zesty, colourful accompaniments, Genia Kuhmeier and Bernarda Fink give thoroughly delightful performances, combining eager characterisation...with a crucial sense of spontaneous enjoyment...Kuhmeier catches both the flaring intensity and the nostalgic tenderness of the Gypsy Songs...[Fink] reveals a more impassioned temperament than I had previously suspected.

International Record Review
What a lovely performance [Fink] gives. Almost all the songs are slow and with a less sensitive interpreter than Fink they can seem dull at times, but not here: calm, soothing, reverential, delicate but not dull...Delights a-plenty come in Moravian Duets, whatever the mood, showing how well two female voices can blend.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Dvorak's so-called Gypsy Songs are not based on actual Gypsy melodies, but are intended to evoke the character and instrumentation of their traditional music and the proud independence of their people. Soprano Knhmeier sings them beautifully, with great sensitivity but not a trace of sentimentality. She has a voice of remarkable purity and clarity and a sinewy sense of line, especially evident in the exquisite 'And the Forest is Silent all Around' as well as the nostalgic 'Songs my Mother Taught Me'. An allegory of freedom for the Czech people is given passionate voice in 'Give a Hawk a Pure Gold Cage'.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2012
Fink has clearly thought through the expressive language of these lovely songs, and Christoph Berner is a near-ideal accompanist. The Moravian Duets...are, over all, the most enjoyable part of this issue: expressive, resonant and brimming over with good humour...The Biblical Songs are delivered with care and sincerity...these well recorded performances have much to recommend them.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (04/2010).


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Works Details

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Zigeunermelodien (7), Op. 55
  • Performers: Christoph Berner (Piano); Genia Kühmeier (Voice)
  • Notes: Composition written: ?01/18/1880-02/23/1880.
  • Running Time: 13 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Moravian Duets (Moravské dvojzpevy) (9) for soprano, alto & piano, B. 62 (Op. 32)
  • Performers: Christoph Berner (Piano); Bernarda Fink; Genia Kühmeier (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Biblical Songs (Biblické písne) (10) for voice & orchestra, B. 189 (Op. 99)
  • Performers: Christoph Berner (Piano); Bernarda Fink
  • Notes: Composition written: 01/04/1895-01/08/1895.
  • Running Time: 22 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal