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Holger Falk Availability
April 14-25, 2023 (Gondoliere)
What the critics say:
Holger Falk received 5 OPUS KLASSIK 2021 nominations for the recording “Il Gondoliere Veneziano“:
• Singer of the Year
• Best Lied Recording
• Best Concert Recording
• Classical Music without
• Best Ensemble
(with Nuovo Aspetto)
“…an afternoon of unforgettable music making.”
— The Washington Post
“one of the most intellectually and vocally flexible singers on the German stage today.”
“Falk displayed a masterful ability to create a distinct mood, atmosphere, and personality for each [Schubert songs].”
— Opera News (NY)
“Falk commands an impressive vocal instrument, and uses it completely in the service of the poetic texts. Now he’s declamatory. Now he whispers intimately to the audience. Now he floats a tone of gossamer loveliness…”
“Falk’s powers of portrayal are sensational, and he has found an equal partner in pianist Steffen Schleiermacher.”
— Die Zeit (Eisler, Volume 3)
“A thrilling listening experience!’
— Stuttgarter Zeitung (Eisler Volume 3)
“In comparing it to the recordings of Fischer-Dieskau with Aribert Reimann and Matthias Goerne with Eric Schneider, this recording with its 53 tracks and 80 minutes is in first place.”
— Fono Forum (Eisler, Volume 3)
“Holger Falk and his accompanist [Steffen Schleiermacher] present the wide range of styles with amazing precision, and show with boundless energy that in this art it is more than just about art.”
— Berliner Zeitung (Eisler Volume 2)
“A thrilling listening experience!”
— Stuttgarter Zeitung (Eisler Volume 3)
“…soft, even in the extreme upper register, a fabulously pleasing baritone.”
— The Frankfurter Allgemeine
His voice “… nothing less than an experience,” and his expressive capabilities “superb.”
— Fono Forum
“This magnificent singer-actor and interpretive extremist, spurred on by pianist Steffen Schleiermacher, dares to take it to the vocal limits and wins – Outstanding!”
— Muenchner Merkur (Eisler recording, Vol I)
• Winner Echo Klassik 2018
• Opus Klassik 2019:
Singer of the Year and
recording of the year
• Opus Klassik 2020 for
Eisler, Vol. 4
• Annual German
Record Review Prize
Il Gondoliere Veneziano
• 2021 Opus Klassik
in 5 categories
Extraordinary performance by Holger Falk
“Il Gondoliere Veneziano”
“In the background there are the sounds of the lagoon, the screeching of gulls, the sounds of the bells from the belltower of San Marco. No, Holger Falk’s ”Il Gondoliere Veneziano” is not a typical Lied or Aria CD. What the baritone put together with the early music specialists of Nuovo Aspetto and the electronic handiwork of Merzouga is a small total work of art - an excursion through the city of lagoons- acoustical overflow of charm included.”
— Münchner Merkur
We are delighted to suggest forApril and October 2024 the amazing and versatile German baritone, Holger Falk, in a new and imaginative program entitled Il Gondoliere Veneziano, offering 17th and 18th century canzoni di batello, a collection of gondoliere songs even Mozart, Goethe and Rousseau wrote about.
Falk, well-known for his contemporary opera and recital work, is joined by the extraordinary baroque ensemble, Aspetto Nuovo, along with the internationally known Merzouga sound art company — the latter adding a truly magical array of captured Venice soundscapes.
The program’s premiere performance was at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. The trailer and the Hamburger Abendblatt’s review for this performance — along with the list of quotes from reviews of the recently released CD recording of this program — provide a good overview for what we consider a most unusual and delightful project.
Please click the link below to see more details.
If – in addition - you would like to receive a CD recording, please do let us know.
“Intellectually and vocally, Holger Falk. baritone, is one of the most flexible singers on the German stage,” according to the magazine Opernwelt while The Washington Post recently wrote, “Falk has an extraordinarily flexible baritone, with a warm, confiding lower and midrange … and … is able to characterize every word so vividly that, if he were singing in Vedic Sanskrit, you’d get the message. It is this colorfulness, flexibility and authenticity in his expression that are the artistic sources of his international career as an opera singer as well as an interpreter of the art song.
His opera engagements have taken him to the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Théâtre Champs Elysées, Paris, Teatro Real, Madrid, Bavarian State Opera, Munich, the Hamburg State Opera, Theater an der Wien, National Opera, Warsaw, Opera Frankfurt, the Boston Early Music Festival, and to numerous other German opera houses. He has worked with outstanding conductors such as Christopher Hogwood, Gabriel Garrido, Franck Ollu, Konrad Junghänel and Stephen Stubbs. Recent and upcoming opera projects were the main role of Jean-Charles in the premiere of Das Floss der Medusa by Henze at the Ruhr Triennale (August/September 2018); the part of Lord Byron in the world premiere of Michael Wertmueller’s Diodati at Theater Basel between February and April 2019; and Ein Brief (A Letter), an opera for baritone, string quartet and orchestra by Manfred Trojahn on a text written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal in the form of a letter by the fictional Lord Chandos to Sir Francis Bacon—the world premiere will be at Opera Bonn and at Theater an der Wien in February 2020.
As an interpreter of the Lied, Holger has appeared at numerous festivals, including at the Philharmonie Cologne, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Konzerthaus, Berlin, Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, Opéra de Rouen, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Berliner Festspiele, Steirischer Herbst Graz and the Rheingau-Musikfestival. In 2015 he was invited to the Festival Sindnoch Lieder zu singen, produced by the Hugo Wolf Society and the Bundeskulturstiftung, to create the future of the German Lied. Following his Canadian debut with Steffen Schleiermacher as accompanist at the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa in July 2018, Holger—accompanied by Julius Drake, piano—in October 2018 made his New York, Cleveland, and Washington debuts atThe Frick Collection, for the Cleveland Chamber Music Society, and at the Phillips Collection respectively.
For his performances and recordings, Holger has received a number of nominations. In 2017 he was nominated by Opernwelt for the Singer of the Year award for two roles. He is the winner of the 2016 Echo Klassik award for his recording Erik Satie: Intégrale des Mélodies et Chansons. As a specialist for Francis Poulenc’s Mélodies, he recorded a three-CD complete oeuvre of all 115 Mélodies for male voice (MDG).
His rich discography further includes Rihm Lieder (MDG), Schubert Schwanengesang, J. Hauer Lieder nach Hölderlin (MDG) and the opera recording of Peter Eötvös’s Paradise reloaded. In March 2017 Songs und Balladen 1929-1937 was the first release of a four-CD collection of songs by Hanns Eisler (with Steffen Schleiermacher, piano), which since has been completed by the release of three additional volumes.
These first three Eisler volumes have received tremendous attention and, so far, have been collectively awarded the prestigious 2017 Annual German Record Reviewers Prize, the 2017 Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award, a nomination for the 2018 Gramophone Award, a nomination for the 2018 International Music Award, as well as the nomination for the 2018 German Record Reviewers Prize, followed by nominations for Singer of the Year and Recording of the Year by the Opus Klassik Award 2019. Volume IV of the Eisler set was nominated by Opus Klassik 2020. The 2020 recording, Il Gondolierre Veneziano, for the Prospero label, was nominated to the 2020 German Record Reviewers Prize of 2020.
Mélodies et Chansons, by Arthur Honegger, will be released on MDG in the fall of 2020 — Steffen Schleiermacher again the pianist.
In March of 2019 Holger Falk took on the position of Professor of Lied Interpretation and Performance Practice of Contemporary Music for Singers at the University of Arts in Graz.
Holger began singing as a boy with the famous Regensburg Cathedral Boys’ Choir, followed by voice studies at the Würzburg Conservatory in Milan, with Prof. Sigune von Osten, Franco Corelli and with Neil Serner, among others.
More what the critics say:
For the Lied
“Those fortunate enough to have been at the Phillips Collection Sunday afternoon heard what I suspect may be the outstanding song recital of the season. The perpetrators were the German baritone Holger Falk, in his Washington debut, and British pianist Julius Drake. Their artfully conceived German and French program, Schubert and Hanns Eisler on the first half, Francis Poulenc and Erik Satie on the second. combined subtlety and power in a breathtaking display of ensemble virtuosity in captivating music.”
— Washington Post
“Falk commands an impressive vocal instrument, and uses it completely in the service of the poetic texts. Now he’s declamatory. Now he whispers intimately to the audience. Now he floats a tone of gossamer loveliness. Now he sings with a grotesque tone (perfect for Satie’s La grenouille americaine). He is also an actor—and a bit of a ham—who can imitate a kazoo (Satie’s Enfant martyre) or whistle while dancing into the aisle (Satie’s Rambouillet). He has particular fun with Satie, and who wouldn’t.”
“ ‘Songs’—too harmless a term. Summons, accusations, shouts—all this from the smug to the harshly grotesque, those are the songs of Hanns Eisler (1898-1962) on the texts of Brecht and Tucholsky. That the days of going on the barricades are not over is demonstrated here by Holger Falk in the opening of a complete cycle. This magnificent singer-actor and interpretive extremist, spurred on by pianist Steffen Schleiermacher, dares to take it to the vocal limits and wins—Outstanding!”
— Muenchner Merkur (Eisler recording, Vol I)
[Michael Wertmüller‘s Diodati. Unendlich, 2019] “First among equals and also dramatically a force: Holger Falk as Lord Byron.”
— Die Zeit
“Holger Falk succeeds vocally and interpretively with a strong portrait of the boastful dandy Lord Byron.”
— Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Holger Falk plays Lord Byron with much power, expression and animalistic lust.”
— InnerSchweiz Online
“The ensemble is simply phenomenal. Holger Falk dazzles as Lord Byron with an extraordinary baritone range.”
— BR Klassik/ Wiener Zeitung
“Holger Falk is the perfect interpreter for Lord Byron. With vocal and dramatic ecstasy he realizes the character of a torn, pleasure-and sex-addicted, idealistic and at the end lonely romantic hero.”
— Neue Züricher Zeitung
“… the center of power of this exquisite ensemble is Holger Falk as the anarchistic bon vivant George Gordon Noel Lord Byron.”
— Schweitzer Musikzeitung/ Der Sonntag
“The ensemble of singers, consisting of Holger Falk (Lord Byron), Rolf Romei (Percy Shelley), Seth Carico (Polidori) and Samantha Gaul (Byron’s half-sister Augusta), delivered the sheer super-human.”
“Holger Falk sings Byron, with his egomania and lack of respect (also to the creation), with an extremely versatile baritone.”
“Wertmuller demands from his singers the highest virtuosity in the highest ranges, and at the same time Dea Loher demands from the actors a precision and joy in acting. This they impressively succeed at with the highest pleasure in exhibitionism.”
— Süddeutsche Zeitung
“In the center, however, is the bon vivant Byron, who Holger Falk portrays as a sex-addicted egomaniac, hungry for life, insatiable but throughout sympathetic. Also vocally he had to take it to a baritone’s extremes.”
“He is one of the most prominent voices of contemporary opera: However, besides major roles by Rihm, Eötvös, Asperghis and others, Baritone Holger Falk sings also Poulenc and Schubert—and now all Songs by Hanns Eisler.”
—Preview to Fonoforum
“The baritone Holger Falk (who recently performed in Heidelberg in Rihm’s Dionysos) is a fascinatingly calm Johannes whose amazement is as moving as his acceptance of his fate. He has the biggest role and Falk differentiates between speaking and singing his part that constantly changes between the two with astonishing vocal ability, a magnificent prize-worthy portrayal.”
“Holger Falk mastered the role of Johannes that calls for singing for an hour almost without interruption with a beautiful lyrical baritone, whose richness in nuances ranging from recitative to aria-like clichés appeared to be without limit.”
Eötvös: Paradise reloaded, Theater Chemnitz: “The cast is fantastic. Holger Falk, as Lucifer with his agile, clear conversational tone, is one of the intellectually and vocally flexible singers on the German stage.”
“…and soon sails in the fantastic, hard to beat with his flexible parlando Holger Falk as Lucifer from heaven, winged and naked, but without genitalia, which eats at him, because he would also like to beget…”
— Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Lucifer, the “bad” who always has the sympathies of the public on his side, is the visually and vocally captivating Holger Falk, who knows how to handle his devilishly difficult role with wonderful humor. The devil is denied the ability to procreate, and how he is envious of Adam’s ability to do so and having the requisite body parts, is delightfully portrayed.”
— Das Opernglas
Hasse: Leupippo “...Particularly after intermission Holger Falk presented himself as a cool streetballer with the corresponding celebratory poses of an irascible, jealous cad who is constantly the center of the action, and is given by Concerto Koln fitting rock-like aria introductions.”
— Badische Zeitung,
“The baritone Holger Falk as the cast of the highest level, yes ideal. He knows how to convincingly articulate every nuance of his role that changes though many levels. His voice is as robust as it is soothing; his portrayal does not shy away from smaller acrobatic interludes, and above all he keeps up the level for the entire 150 minutes. A tremendous achievement, which finds it high point in the “Wanderer-Song,” but truly reaches its apex in the moving closing song [‘Gott als Schaf’].”
— Rhein-Neckar Zeitung
“Holger Falk’s high baritone fits excellently to the many-faceted role of N. Heidelberg has done a great service for Wolfgang Rihm.“
— Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,
“The hero N. appears in many guises. The singing Holger Falk is the dramatic and vocal center.”
— Die Welt
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