Critical Acclaim for Strauss/Mahler Album

Apr 10, 2024

The new album Strauss ‘Ein Heldenleben’ and Mahler ‘Rückert-Lieder,’ featuring Rafael Payare leading the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) and soprano Sonya Yoncheva in the latest extension of their Pentatone discography, has received steady critical acclaim since its March 15 release. In April, tracks from the album appeared on Apple Music Classical’s “The Late Romantics” and Apple Music’s “Sonya Yoncheva Essentials” playlists, with Yoncheva and Payare both receiving mentions on the platform’s “Artists We Love” list. The recording is a featured new release on Classical Archives, Idagio, Presto, Spotify, and Tidal, among many other platforms.  

Classical Explorer calls the recording quality “top-notch,” adding that “the string detail, Payare’s awareness of Strauss’ polyphony and his ability to create a core Straussian richness while losing none of the transparency mark this out as one of the most beautiful, compelling Heldenlebens around.” The Strauss/Mahler pairing is described as “a fabulous coupling delivered in performances of consummate power.” Read the full review here.  

Gramophone calls Heldenleben “a performance of real flair” and Payare an “enthusiastic podium presence,” adding that “Rafael Payare’s Heldenleben is very nearly as successful as his recent account of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.” Read Gramophone’s review here.    

The full album is available to stream now.