Title - 'Herz-Tod'
Artist - Günther Groissböck / Gerold Huber
For those not in the classical know, Austrian bass Günther Groissböck studied singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, first with Robert Holl and later with José van Dam.
He is a regular guest at leading houses worldwide, such as the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opéra and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals.
His operatic repertory includes Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier), Boris Godunov, Fasolt, Hunding (Die Walküre), Landgraf Herrmann (Tannhäuser), Veit Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), King Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), King Heinrich (Lohengrin), Daland (Der fliegende Holländer), Caspar (Der Freischüt), Vodník (Rusalka), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) and Rocco (Fidelio).
As an exclusive Decca Classic recording artist, he released a double album of Schubert’s Winterreise and Schwanengesang and this July 13th, 2018, in conjunction with Gerold Huber, brought forth the incredible, simply incredible Herz-Tod.
And as for the aforementioned Gerold Huber, he is a German classical pianist, best known as the regular duo partner of baritone Christian Gerhaher and accompanist of other singers.
Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge (16:42)
Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder (18:06)
Wolf: Michelangelo-Lieder (9:45)
Mahler: Rückert-Lieder (18:30)
Groissböck's second album on Decca, Herz-Tod (“Heart-Death”) is a delicious handpicked selection of four song cycles by Brahms, Wagner, Wolf and Mahler.
Indeed, Herz-Tod features repertoire recorded by a bass for the first time ever here and it has to be said that it's as if it were always meant to be in the "hands" of the always highly impressive Austrian.
Groissböck describes himself as a "basso cantante," a higher, more lyrical voice than a "basso profondo," who is strongest at the bottom of the range. So listening to this rather delightful, brave, chock full of bravado and spirit new CD, you keep that in the back of your mind, sure, but it does little to sway your final opinion that the man knows his limits; and (knowingly) never once exceeds them.
For what he may lack in amplitude at the low end, he makes up for with power to spare at the top, and that's given him the confidence to take on the bass-baritone role of Wotan in Wagner's "Ring" cycle at the Bayreuth festival starting in 2020. Something that needs to be seen to be believed and admired, of that I cam quite sure.
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