Judith Berkson – Liederkreis II

Judith Berkson, a composer, singer, and pianist based in NYC, has been honing her Liederkreis project since 2016, which features electronically-augmented vocal interpretations of lieder by such composers as Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, as well as purely electronic pieces engaging noise and feedback-oriented vignettes. This new release finds Judith continuing a more song-oriented approach, as previously explored on her 2010 ECM release Oylam. The pieces contained on Liederkreis II are deeply haunting, timbrally sensuous, and a notably divergent aesthetic for Notice Recordings. Judith is taking her electronically-processed vocals and conforming them to the slowly dripping, contorted melodies of Schubert and Schumann’s lieder, firmly within the lineage of such artists as Klaus Nomi and Kraftwerk. Liederkreis II exists as a commentary of a hypermodern relationship with classical music: both an admiration and a recontextualisation. This is music that is at once both personal and emotional, and formal and mechanical. It is both beautiful and anxious. It is within this contrast that the album retains such an alluring presence, and we are honored to facilitate its existence.


Liederkreis - voice, electronics, synthesizer

Recorded and mastered at Menegroth the Thousand Caves by Colin Marston. Woodhaven, Queens, New York

Castle is an interpretation of Liederkreis op. 39 No. 7 Auf einer Burg by Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Doppelgänger, Harpers, Suns, Der Kreuzzug are interpretations of lieder by Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Thank you to Franz, Franke, Sigmund, Saul, Robert and Clara and Joseph Gabriel Esther Maneri

Artwork by E. Lindorff-Ellery
"Relaxing in the Desert Under an Overcast Sky in the Sunset", 2020

Letterpress printed by Small Fires Press, New Orleans

Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC

1. Der Doppelgänger - 04:16
2. Monotonfin - 02:49
3. Castle - 03:38
4. Harpers - 03:03
5. NeuDeux - 02:52
6. Suns - 02:26
7. Bundt - 02:25
8. Der Kreuzzug - 04:32


"Composer and singer Judith Berkson’s Liederkreis II takes lieder by Schubert and Schumann as starting points, Berkson typically stripping away the piano accompaniments and performing them a capella, multitracked. The results are both seductive and chilling; Berkson’s vocal writing so effective that you’d love to hear them sung live. Especially potent is “Suns”, recasting a bittersweet number from Die Winterreise. “Castle”, based on a song from Schumann’s Liederkreis has stark power. Interspersed are three unsettling pieces for synthesiser. Berkson’s singing is exquisite throughout; this is an intriguing, unsettling album." – The Arts Desk

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