The German baritone Matthias Goerne articulates Eisler’s anguish with crisp diction couched in a velveteen musicality. More even than Dietrich Fscher-Dieskau, who took up these songs half a century ago, Goerne goes to the heart of pain without a trace of pity and with sudden flashes of wit. He turns wilder and more dramatic in a set of Bertolt Brecht songs for voice and piano, accompanied by Thomas Larcher, who also performs Eisler’s earliest work, a 1923 piano sonata dedicated to Schoenberg. The sound is exemplary and the cover image arresting; this is a near-perfect record.
It’s hard to know where to start, really, as the whole set is so outstanding: full of drive and such tremendous energy. This is largely down to the way that Nelsons sculpts each piece: time and again he achieves the seemingly contradictory feat of allowing every phrase the space it needs to breathe whilst simultaneously pushing the music ever onwards to its conclusion. A shining example of this is the very first note of the Fourth Symphony: it’s a relatively tricky opening because the crotchet up-beat in the violins literally comes out of nowhere, and so it’s hard to shape without making it too rigid or metronomic, but by ever so slightly elongating this crotchet and fractionally delaying the next bar, Nelsons instantly gives the whole phrase life and direction. There’s not a single bar that feels heavy or stodgy, and yet amongst the lightness there is real weight when required, not least in the string sound, which is full of warmth (particularly in the “big tune” in the last movement of the First Symphony), and the woodwind section are refined throughout, including some highly poised oboe solos.
Can these classifications apply to non-classical type of singers? I would love to hear how you would classify male voices particularly ones in Gospel Music. In this genre alot of males are training their head- voice or falsetto (not sure which one) to actually blend in or sound like a higher extension of their chest voice. If properly done it results in a very powerful and high singing voice that can rival any alto and soprano in chest/head voice. A singer who was formerly known as Tonex (now known as Bslade) is widely noted for this type of voice along with others and I just so happens to be one that practices this technique. Currently I can stretch my range from E2- C6 (Maybe D6 /d#6 on a really good day), would I still classify myself as a baritone/tenor with a very extended range?