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Like the paintings of the Flemish Baroque painters, the ‘vanities’ presented here can be approached in two ways: on the one hand, as manifestations of doubts and anxieties at the fragility of human life; on the other, as delights to be savoured without moderation, celebrating earthly life through the senses and the pleasure that human beings can derive from them.
After two critically acclaimed recordings each for Alpha, the baritone Georg Nigl and the pianist Olga Pashchenko explore the tortuous meanders of the human soul with vocal works by Schubert (an ‘existentialist’ composer if ever there was one), Beethoven (whose torments hardly need stressing) and the contemporary composer Wolfgang Rihm, whose highly expressionistic Jakob Lenz (ALPHA717) Nigl performed on stage in 2019. His piece Vermischter Traum, here given its world premiere, is dedicated to the Austrian singer.