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Young German baritone Benjamin Appl has recently received a fair amount of critical praise as a BBC New Generation artist. Here, he offers an intelligent exploration of the concept of ‘Heimat’ (home), reflecting his own relocation to London from his homeland and presenting music from both territories. Accompanying Appl – who responds to texts and their implications with ease – is pianist James Baillieu. His way with Schubert’s Seligkeit is exemplary, he captures the bitter-sweet tinge of Reger’s Des Kindes Gebet to perfection and provides a wonderful bed of sound for Schreker’s astonishing Waldeinsamkeit. Throughout, Baillieu proves himself in harmonically elusive textures; his Schubert Nachtstück finds him spinning a carpet of twilight. A real winner.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2017 - ©Rhinegold Publishing