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In the three song cycles of this recording, Wolfgang Rihm stays faithful to the text and its meaning while paying close attention to melodic line. In choosing to do so, Rihm has a deep lineage in the great tradition of Romantic art song that stretches back to the distinguished names of Schönberg, Berg, Brahms and Schumann. Approaching the text both from the perspective of the singer and from that of the accompanying pianist, Rihm is able to reach tremendous heights of expression. While the eleven Lieder nach Gedichten von Heiner Müller are apparently set as individual songs, it is only in the context of the entire cycle that they fully come to life and assume a definite shape – much like Schumann’s songs. “The penchant for spaciously conceived song structures is carried to extremes in the two cycles based on poems by Hermann Lenz and Rainer Maria Rilke as Rihm, without any doubt, is looking beyond the setting of the individual songs in search of the structure of a kind of super-song.” (Siegfried Mauser) Christoph Prégardien and Siegfried Mauser meticulously realize Rihm’s goals with exemplary textual and musical diction and tremendous expressivity.