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Liszt: Songs For Bass Voice & Piano Schwartz, Dibbern

Liszt: Songs For Bass Voice & Piano Schwartz, Dibbern

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Throughout his long career Liszt’s songs – perhaps the most neglected part of his enormous output – took a radical approach to form: he eschewed convention in his search for a sincere musical response to each text. His free-spirited creativity meant that a single song would often call on a range of stylistic devices, among them bel canto vocal lines, unaccompanied recitative, orchestrally conceived piano textures and audacious harmonic procedures. This first recording of his songs by a bass voice brings out both the power and poetry of Liszt’s remarkable imagination. The American bass Jared Schwartz was born in Berne, Indiana, where he began piano lessons at the age of three, violin at seven and French horn at ten. He began a double major in pre-med and music at Bethel College, Indiana, then studied piano with Alexander Toradze and voice with Victoria Garrett, earning a graduate degree from the Eastman School of Music. For Toccata Classics he has already recorded albums of songs by Faure and Flegier.


Schwartz's forte singing is most impressive, and his voice remains lustrously smooth and elegant in all registers. His vocal coloring, use of contrasting dynamics, and feeling for the text combine to make his readings thoroughly engaging. When he sings with gentleness and lyricism he weaves a magic spell, as in ‘Des Tages Laute Stimmen Schweigen’, which ends sublimely as he delivers the final line of the text (“As night embraces you with gentle silence”). It is stunning.

Mary Dibbern, who collaborated with him in his Flegier album and in preparing his Fauré album, does a superb job with Liszt’s often challenging accompaniment. She also wrote the comprehensive and informative notes for the release.

I learned to enjoy Liszt through his songs, especially his early high-flying Schiller and Petrarch settings, sung by tenors. I am now enjoying a voice that plumbs the sonic and textual depths of the songs.

-- American Record Guide

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Toccata Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 5060113444417
    • Item Number: