Brahms / Brachmann / Heilmann - Auf Jenen Hoh'n (Hybr) | RECORD STORE DAY

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Like hardly any other musical genre, the art song is created to express extreme human states of mind. The preoccupation with dying and death, with the loss of loved ones and with one's own transience is therefore always at the centre. Baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann and pianist Hendrik Heilmann have chosen Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder", Frank Martin's "Jedermann-Monologe" and "Vier ernste Gesänge" by Johannes Brahms from among the rare cyclical works that deal with this theme in different and yet always deeply moving ways. The "Kindertotenlieder" are certainly among the most moving that music and poetry have ever produced. In more than 400 poems, Friedrich Rückert deals with the loss of his only daughter and one of his sons, who died of scarlet fever when they were children. Gustav Mahler's selection from the enormous bundle combines all extremes of human emotion: from grief and despair to repression in the dreamlike to the hope of salvation and reunion in the afterlife. Brachmann and Heilmann explore these extremes, for example in "Indieser Wetter, indieser Braus", in which the voice has to scream against the storm, only to find solace in an almost heavenly lullaby shortly afterwards. Martin's "Jedermann-Monologues" begin where Hoffmansthal's famous "Jedermann", already abandoned by all earthly friends, looks to his end. The former philanderer, initially plagued by fear of death, finally finds his way to his creator: it's fascinating how Martin knows how to put this transformation into music with Hoffmansthal's Knittelverses! Brahms, on the other hand, takes texts from the Bible as a basis for his "Four Serious Songs", from the litanies of transience of the preacher Solomon to the "Song of Love" from the first Epistle to the Corinthians. Whether the losses that Brahms had to mourn at the time of writing, or even a premonition of his own death left their mark on the composition only a short time later, must remain open.