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Berg: Wozzeck



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Based on real events and playwright Georg Büchner's starkly vehement text, Alban Berg's tragic opera Wozzeck is an epoch-making work, in stark contrast to the previous high romantic ideals of the genre, that led Schoenberg to exclaim 'now that's what I call an opera!' Immensely powerful and heartbreakingly moving as a drama, Wozzeck explores the victimisation, despair and madness of a central character who has no place in society, its deeply humane message and sublimely innovative score firmly establishing it as a 20th-century masterpiece.

This significant release follows on from successful recordings with the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hans Graf – making their Naxos debut in 2009 with Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony and Berg's Three Pieces (8.572048). Our Wozzeck soloist for this earlier release was admired by Gramophone: 'Roman Trekel's experience in big operatic roles, not least Wagner, makes him an excellent choice for the four male-voice movements: he has the presence and range to belong in the company of the starriest-baritones, from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to Bryn Terfel.' Baritone Roman Trekel has won several international singing competitions. His contributions to the Naxos Schubert Lied Edition have been much admired, with a Winterreise (Vol. 1, 8.554471) that is 'moving and beautifully sung' (San Jose Mercury News) and ClassicsToday.com considering that this recording 'stands with the best on disc.' The cast for this production of Wozzeck is notable for its strength and depth. Soprano Anne Schwanewilms (Marie) was proclaimed by London's Time Out as 'one of the world's finest interpreters of late romantic opera and song.' Internationally acclaimed tenor Marc Molomot (Captain) is highly regarded as 'an excellent actor-singer' (Le Monde), and star bass-baritone Nathan Berg (Doctor) received acclaim for his role as the sea captain in Der Fliegende Holländer from The Salt Lake Tribune: 'Berg's vocally secure performance suggested not only the world-weariness that would come from decades, if not centuries, roaming the seas, but also a depth of poise and gravity that made even his quietest utterances compelling.'
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