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Matthias Goerne

  • Baritone


Matthias Goerne press reviews


Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin CD

“Generally the tenor voice recordings have found preference in my ears, but one as sensitively rendered as here by baritone Matthias Goerne and partner Eschenbach must be considered a modern marvel. The light and airy reflections so seamlessly drawn by Schubert’s accompaniments in this cycle can easily be overloaded with undue angst and pathos, with of course the intention of bringing out meaning. A lower voice naturally adds to the gravity of the attempt and can often obscure what is trying to be illumined by the approach. Not so Goerne, whose floating pianos and effervescent phrasing do nothing but bring Schubert’s always-seductive melodic lines to the fore.”

Steven Ritter, Audiophile, May 12, 2009

Brahms’s Ein Deutches Requiem, Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra

“There could not have been a more striking baritone soloist than Matthias Goerne, whose voice was arresting for its dark timbre and whose phrases were richly communicative.”

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinatti Enquirer, November 8, 2008

Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, New York Philharmonic

“The elegant German baritone Matthias Goerne brought dignity and grace to the music of Jesus.”

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, March 21, 2008

Schubert Lieder: Vol II

“From a vocal point of view, few male singers… command such a rich pallette of colours as Goerne does here: he is resplendent in the sublime, hymn-like Du bist die Ruh and An die Musik - the most familiar songs on the first disc.”

Hugh Canning, The Times, November 2, 2008

Larcher’s Die Nacht der Verlorenen, London Sinfonietta at Southbank Centre

"Goerne's compelling presence... The baritone Matthias Goerne brought an uncanny perfection of diction and sound to the piece, and deserves much of the credit for making it seem so haunting."

Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, October 3, 2008

Gesangsszene, London Philharmonic

"...with its rhetorical solo part delivered so powerfully by the magnificent Matthias Goerne, and its fevered inventiveness whipped up to fearsome intensity by Jurowski, the piece certainly made its baleful impact."

Bayan Northcott,The Independent, October 2, 2008

"It was thrilling to hear Gesangsszene superlatively conducted by Jurowski and sung with such dramatic power and intelligence by Matthias Goerne."

Andrew Clements, Guardian, September 29, 2008

Schubert: An mein HerzCD

"Matthias Goerne seems to own a different shade of baritonal colour for every syllable Schubert wrote. The voice is sweet and serene, even at fff, and the shifts that Goerne applies to the changing of seasons and the fickleness of love are done with enviable delicacy."

Norman Lebrecht, Evening Standard, September 24, 2008

Ravinia Festival, Summer 2009 Program Announcement

"Matthias Goerne, perhaps the greatest lieder singer of today."

ChicagoSun Times, 18 September 2008

Schubert Songs, Kennedy Concert Hall

“Still, when you have an artist so extraordinarily sensitive as Matthias Goerne, with his meticulously calibrated baritone voice and seemingly infinite command of emotional shading, willing to take on orchestrations by Brahms, Anton Webern, Max Reger and others, you put your reservations aside and listen with gratitude.”

Tim Page, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 5, 2007

Carnegie Hall Recital

“Critics have sung Mr. Goerne's praises over and over, and one can hardly add anything at this point: The voice is one of the most beautiful — most lush, most creamy — that any of us has ever heard. His singing is almost impossibly smooth. The first time you hear it, you can scarcely believe it. Even the 10th time, you have to wonder.”

Jay Nordlinger, The New York Sun, May 9, 2007

“Mr. Goerne worked his magic quickly: within a bar or two, he sounded fully at home in a song, and he maintained an interpretive suppleness that kept his expressive moves fresh and unpredictable.”

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, May 9, 2007

Die Schone Magelone, Wigmore Hall:

“[Goerne] wrapped his glowing baritone around the notes, making even the octave spans in the fourth song sound velvet smooth. His voice is perfect for this music.”

Erica Jeal, The Guardian (London), January 18, 2006

Recital at Allice Tully Hall: Wesendonck Lieder

“Mr. Goerne has a remarkable voice.A true ut de poitrine, it originates from deep in the chest cavity and comes out velvety and supple…Goerne’s prodigious instrument allows him to spin a golden web of a lurical line, seemingly endless in its melodic development.”

Fred Kirschnit, The New York Sun, November, 2005

“Mr. Goerne brought his formidable voice, a husky and flexible baritone, intelligence and consummate sense of style to his singing.”

Anthony Tomassini, The New York Times, November 10, 2005

“ ‘Goerne has a wonderful voice, imagination to burn and a formidable technique…To be able to sing every vowel undistorted, on every pitch and at every dynamic level, is a fundamental goal of classical singing, but one seldom met; Goerne can do it.’ ”

Matthew Gurewitsch (quote from Richard Dryer), The New York Times, November 6, 2005

San FranciscoRecitals at Herbst Theater:

“…his singing has rarely sounded so easy or so warmly expressive as it did in his most recent appearance Tuesday night…The program of music by Mahler, Berg and Wagner found Goerne in his element, and he responded with interpretations that mixed suavity and depth in equal measure. With pianist Wolfram Rieger as a dexterous accompanist, Goerne sounded intent on finding a balance between seriousness and sheer sensual allure.”

Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 2005

“Tonight, as ever, there was the warm, beautiful voice, effortlessly covering the entire baritone range, deeply-felt expression of music and text, diction so perfect that the listener understands even a foreign language he doesn't speak.”

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, April 2005

Mozarteum Recital with Alexander Schmalcz at the piano:

The first time you hear him, that voice is so shocking, you have trouble concentrating on the music. The voice has an almost unreal beauty… he displayed many of his virtues: that voice, of course; and the cleanest onsets imaginable; and a beautiful, clear, often caressing German; and interpretive refinement.”

Jay Nordlinger, The New York Sun, August 18, 2005

Recording Review: Schumann Lieder

“Matthias Goerne’s dark, burnished timbre is ideally suited to Schumann’s autumnal sound-world.Much of the singing here is terribly quiet, but Goerne’s baritone loses none of its warmth and support even at the lowest dynamic levels.The result is as degree of intimacy rare even for lieder recitals.”

Fred Cohn, Opera News, June 2005

Die Winterreisewith Eric Schneider at the piano:

"an all-powerful display of lieder at its animated and involving best. Goerne's presence is immediate and gripping. He has the expressive range, instance, manner and delivery, of a Shakespearean actor and the musical ability of a true master. The voice is beautiful, but not superficially so; the clear-toned clarity and depth serves the delivery of poetry and is a powerful tool in Goerne's search for the perfect union of drama, music and text."

BelfastTelegraph, February 15, 2005

“There is no adequate way to express the listener´s gratitude to these courageous artists for their unique interpretation of this heartbreaking, almost unbearable song-cycle…”

The San Francisco Chronicle, March 2003

“A perfect voice for Schubert. …Simply put, Goerne is a marvel. He´s equipped with an agile voice of beautiful color and tone, amazing breath control, and an impressive mastery of dynamics. His singing in German is flawless. And, unlike many of his contemporaries, he seems to care about conveying the essence of every word he sings…”

Times Correspondent (San Francisco), March 2003

Schubert and Eisler songs at Wigmore Hall

“Both musicians pushed the music as far as it would go, and with everything they had to give: Goerne with those remarkable long sustained breaths of inspired eloquence; Schneider as a partner to contend with.”

The Times, November 10, 2004

Knaben Wunderhornwith the Toronto Symphony:

“Much Mahler marvellously sung…Blessed with a warm, smoothly produced instrument and remarkable breath control, he sounded as much at home in lighter, lilting songs such as ‘Rheinlegendchen’.”

TorontoStar, April 2003

Premiere of Henze’s L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe:

“The part of Al Kasim, the ‘good’ son, was written for Matthias Goerne, and it’s easy to understand how his very beautiful, burnished tones and his unaffected yet intense stage presence would have inspired Henze to compose for him.”

Classical Music Web, April 2003

Carnegie Hall Recital:

“The German baritone Matthias Goerne was in glorious form on Friday night. He seemed to be able to do anything except make a sound that was unconsidered, unexpressive or inelegant.”

The New York Times, April 2002

Mahler and Brahms Concert at Symphony Center:

“Goerne’s voice is flexible and expressive, combining a penetrating power and a mellow edge. He uses it with an actor’s attention to nuance and drama.”

ChicagoSun-Times, April 2002

Lieder Concert at the McCarter Center:

“But navigating bodies of song, like bodies of water, requires attention not just to the surface but to depth, and few singers today have Goerne’s probing emotional range, or his ability to brood or to make pensiveness seem so active.”

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), January 2001