Pressreviews


Ulf Bästlein’s voice is also profoundly rich in substance and flexible; piano singing is one of his particular strengths... The singer’s recitation of Leitner’s poetry demonstrates the range of his interpretative powers. Kudos for this impressive CD publication. (Leitner Lieder CD)

Fono Forum

 

Ulf Bästlein succeeded in giving a masterful interpretation of Elijah, striking a balance between introspection and dramatic furioso outbursts.

Stuttgarter Nachrichten

 

The first volume of Schubert’s Goethe Lieder sees bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein as a sound-poet, tasting and scenting out both the mysteries and the wit within Goethe’s words and Schubert’s responses to them. (Schubert Goethe Lieder CD)

Classical-music.com (The official website of BBC Music Magazine)

 

The CD published by Gramola with twenty-one Lieder by Anselm Hüttenbrenner, all of them lucky finds, is a real achievement for which bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein and accompanist Charles Spencer deserve the highest praise. Bästlein’s interpretation avoids theatrical, operatic gestures, only seldom showing off and usually limiting itself to a kind of crooning that strikes the tone of Hüttenbrenner’s Lieder exactly.

Opernwelt

 

One of the most convincing Lied albums of recent years! Here, Ulf Bästlein embarks upon a vocal journey through Heine, using his sonorous voice responsibly (a secure lower and unforced high register) to express both the melodic line and the rhetorical emphasis of the music. (Heine Lieder CD)

Fono Forum

 

Ulf Bästlein employs a multifaceted stylistic palette to interpret Hüttenbrenner’s lyrical, emotive melodies. Longing, humour, sorrow, pain, joy and anger always have their own distinctive, deeply felt tone. (Hüttenbrenner Lieder CD)

Kieler Nachrichten

 

The masterly Ulf Bästlein sings with great passion that immediately captures his listeners. His characteristic style is reminiscent of Gérard Souzay ... Bästlein’s wealth of nuances and the way he makes the music his own are completely convincing, so that the 36-song CD never drags but instead is a delight to hear. (Voß Lieder CD)

Der Merker

 

Ulf Bästlein interpreted the narrative and melodic passages impressively... His clear articulation and thrilling dramatic performance combined with his natural tone came together with the Hof Symphonic Orchestra to create a gripping listening experience. (Orchestra version of Mussorgsky’s “Songs and Dances of Death”)

Main Post

 

Perfection! This is a word critics should be wary of using. But it is the appropriate designation for the evening of Lieder performed by baritone Ulf Bästlein and the pianist James Tocco. (Winterreise)

Lübecker Nachrichten

 

Ulf Bästlein proves himself a versatile and talented Lied interpreter. The strikingly sophisticated interpretation and the clarity of the text of Bästlein’s pleasant bass-baritone timbre leave nothing to be desired. (Heine Lieder CD)

Neue Musikzeitung

 

Amid the plethora of “Winterreise” recordings, this is a version whose excellent singer makes you sit up and listen. Ulf Bästlein’s performance should be noted first of all for the enormous versatility of his vocal technique: soft onset, even vibrato, excellent balance of register, effortless diction and good vocal projection even in quiet passages, in addition to precise articulation. Building on these skills, his interpretation is particularly successful in the lyric Lieder (which after all make up the majority of the song cycle) and fascinates in its simplicity and artlessness. (Winterreise CD)

Fono Forum

 

Ulf Bästlein’s performance turned Arnold Schönberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” for speaker, male chorus and orchestra into a real experience. He read the moving text magnificently...

Lübecker Nachrichten

 

Dominatrice, la voce del baritono Ulf Baestlein dà splendido relievo alla musica di Giovanni Sollima. Coinvolgente nella seconda Aria, di sfumata mestizia da nenia funebre, nell’ultima.

Giornale di Sicilia

 

Bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein not only knew how to capture his audience with his warm, cultivated voice, but was equally convincing in his profound expression and meaningful modulation of Owen’s poetic language. (Britten: War Requiem)

Hildesheimer Allgemeine

 

Ulf Bästlein mastered the coloratura-laden role of the servant Dandini in his soft, mellifluous baritone voice, displaying virtuoso technique and a secure sense of style. (Cenerentola)

Kieler Nachrichten

 

Bästlein sang flawlessly in a softly flowing voice that displayed a wealth of modulation and sophisticated diction – without having to employ even the slightest operatic gesture, movingly simple and yet staggeringly expressive. Twenty stellar minutes. (Bach’s “Kreuzstab” cantata)

Erlanger Nachrichten

 

Quand au baryton Ulf Bästlein (Simon) c’est la splendeur de l’etoffe vocale plus la qualité stylistique du chant et une articulation exemplaire. (Haydn: Four Seasons)

Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace

 

The voices include a real Mozart discovery: Ulf Bästlein’s Count is appealing in all vocal registers, effortlessly mastering the rising lines of the music and even possessing an erotic timbre. (Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro)

Lübecker Nachrichten

 

First and foremost among the performers, bass Ulf Bästlein’s singing merited the description “stunning”. Even in the lowest basso depths, his powerful voice was full and even, and he shaped his passages with an expression worthy of Shakespearean drama. The climax certainly was the aria “The trumpet shall sound” in the third part, where Bästlein reaped unexpected spontaneous applause. (Handel’s Messiah)

Westfälische Nachrichten

 

Ulf Bästlein as Papageno stands a good chance of becoming the audience’s new favourite thanks to his talented acting. His singing was flawless! (Papageno, Hamburg State Opera)

Die Welt

 

The surprise of the night was the powerful and majestic baritone voice of Ulf Bästlein, whose full sound gave new meaning to this vocal range. As the demon, he defied and mocked the “dull priest-ridden Christians” with eruptive energy. (Mendelssohn’s “Erste Walpurgisnacht”)

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

 

A stranger he came in, and a star he left... Bästlein’s technique is excellent and his voice has a lyrical foundation that reveals considerable dramatic potential in its unforced onset. However, his robust bass-baritone with its dark, masculine timbre is never showy and is employed mainly in a subtly nuanced piano. ... His interpretation, which mesmerised the audience, eschews theatricality and pathos, knows no mannerisms, and refrains from exaggerating details, instead sustaining the cycle’s overall arc. Bästlein’s enunciation is exemplary and yet never threatens to slide into the declamatory. (Winterreise)

Kleine Zeitung

 

Da sottolineare, infine, come la potenza e il pieno controllo della voce facciano di Ulf Bastlein uno dei migliori baritoni della scena internazionale.

Gazzetta del Sud

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