Two of the world’s most seasoned Schubertians, both long associated with Wigmore Hall, come together for Wigmore Hall Live. Schubert’s late-Romantic successor as the Austrian master of the art song, Hugo Wolf, is the focus for the baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, a native of Upper Austria, and the British pianist Imogen Cooper, whose training included a period in Vienna studying with Paul Badura-Skoda, Jörg Demus and Alfred Brendel. This recording comprises 26 of the 53 lieder that Wolf wrote on the poems of Eduard Mörike, born just seven years after Schubert in 1804, but outliving the composer nearly five decades.
To mark Holzmair’s retirement from the recital platform, this Wigmore Hall Live disc features a delightful selection of Schumann Lieder, including some highlights from Liederkreis Op. 39, some lesser-known settings of Heine, and Kerner Lieder the final cycle of his fruitful Liederjahr. The disc frames the cycle Nachtstück by composer Aribert Reimann, which sets four poems by the celebrated poet Eichendorff. This insightful and passionate performance promises to be a touching memento as we bid a sad farewell to Holzmair from the recital platform.
Rarely have I heard so sensitive, intelligent and gloriously musical a partnership. No-one could have asked for more attentive, detailed expressions nor more complete harmony of feeling between singer and pianist … I was transfixed by the sheer artistry.
The partnership between Cooper and Holzmair is so close, it’s almost symbiotic.
Seen & Heard International