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The young German baritone Konstantin Krimmel won the prestigious Preis des Deutschen Musikwettbewerbs in 2019, in addition to the Helmut Deutsch Prize. He joins Alpha for a number of recordings, starting with this programme of lieder conceived with his longstanding partner, the pianist Doriana Tchakarova. This lover of words, a particularly expressive performer in concert, wanted to ‘tell a story’ for his first album: he chose to record a selection of ballads, because ‘they are genuine operas in just a few minutes... mini-sagas that permit great interpretative freedom’. Among the great poets present here are Schiller, Goethe and Heinrich Heine. As to the composers, alongside the indispensable Schubert and Schumann, this programme presents a great master of the genre, Carl Loewe, who wrote several hundred ballads: the works recorded here, inspired by Scots poems or Danish legends, are especially eloquent. There is also a chance to discover the much more rarely recorded Adolf Jensen, a great admirer of Wagner, whom he met in 1861: ‘To translate Wagner’s ideas of Beauty and Truth to smaller forms has been my aim in all my later compositions.’