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Thread: Winterreise & Die schöne Müllerin

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Default Winterreise & Die schöne Müllerin

    These two great song cycles of Franz Schubert have been well served on record over the past 100 years. What are your favorite recordings of them?

    I’m listening to the Goerne/Eschenbach Winterreise now and really enjoying it. May have to get the CD.

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    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    I guess there will be other threads on these beautiful songcycles. But it is always worthwile to revisit such good music. I would also like to add Schwanengesang, the collection of last songs by Schubert.

    For Winterreise, I like to listen to the just deceased Peter Schreier with Sviatoslav Richter, who recorded the cycle at the re-opening of the Semperoper in Dresden in 1985:
    schreier.jpg

    For the Winterreise and Swan songs, I also love DFD with Brendel, also recorded in the same period. Some say that DFD already pad passed his prime, but I love the seniority of his interpretation and the excellent playing of Brendel.

    For Die Schone Mullerin I always loved Ernst Haefliger with Jorg Ewald Dahler on Hammerflugel.

    From the more recent recordings I recently got to know Werner Gura as a great Lied singer.
    Last edited by NLAdriaan; Jan-10-2020 at 18:09.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    For Winterreise, Fischer Dieskau is a must for me.
    For Die schöne Müllerin, either Fischer Dieskau, Protschka or Schreier.

    Schwanengesang does not work for me as a cycle, it's a collection of songs that could also be replaced by other choices from his vast repertoire in a recital.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Only know Winterreise. The Peter Mattei is a feat in the discography





    Lively and playing because of Pollini (I'm not used to piano playing at all)



    Another live performance excellent for piano playing and tenor singing. Don't know what else to say.
    Last edited by Granate; Jan-10-2020 at 22:31.

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    For Winterreise, I'm most fond of Hotter/Moore, Kaufmann/Deutsch, Mattei/Nilsson.

    I don't listen to Schone Mullerin as much, but when I do, it's usually Wunderlich/Giesen.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    My recent favourite WInterreise is from Christoph Prégardien. Subtle but nonetheless heartfelt. Both the fortepainso version and the chamber version are excellent. I'm looking at getting his version with Michael Gees as well, but am still pondering to get the blu-ray or the DXD download.



    Otherwise my all-time favourite is Olaf Bär/Geoffrey Parsons. Dark and colourful.

    I also like all the usual suspects, DFD, Hotter/Moore, Schreier/Schiff, Bostridge/Adès, Maltman/Johnson etc.

    --

    My all-time favourite Müllerin is again Olaf Bär/Geoffrey Parsons. Simply great story telling.

    Another that runs close is Wolfgang Holzmair/Jörg Demu. Holzmair is the lad himself!

    Ian Bostridge/Graham Johnson is interesting not only for a refreshingly young Bostridge but also it has DFD reciting the "missing" poems (if anyone cares).

    Otherwise, I also like Maltman/Johnson, Gerhaher/Huber, Schreier/Schiff, to name a few.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I have DF-D, with Gerald Moore on Die schöne Müllerin and Jörg Demus on Winterreise. Apart from certain symphonic cycles I'm not in the habit of collecting different recordings of the same work so these have always sufficed, but I am tempted to buy the cycles performed by a female vocalist just to get a different angle. Has anyone heard the recordings by Nathalie Stutzman?
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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    Senior Member Bourdon's Avatar
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    Fritz Wunderlich



    and the many recordings with Dieskay,EMI & DGG
    Last edited by Bourdon; Jan-11-2020 at 13:41.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    For Winterreise, I have quite a few "favorites":

    Anders/Raucheisen
    Hüsch/Müller
    Hagegard/Schuback
    Pears/Britten
    Pregardien/Staier
    Schreier/Richter
    Güra/Berner
    Hynninen/Gothoni (the first recording on Fuga, which has never been digitized commercially)
    Mattei/Nilsson
    Van Dam/Baldwin
    Hotter/Werba
    Hotter/Raucheisen

    In addition to Mattei's recording, which is currently my favorite baritone version, I've been enjoying recent recordings by Matthew Rose, Daniel Behle, and Günther Groissböck.

    My list of faves of Die Schöne Müllerin is a little shorter:

    Schiotz/Moore
    Pregardien/Staier
    Partridge/Partridge
    Schreier (all of them)
    Bär/Parsons
    Last edited by wkasimer; Jan-11-2020 at 18:34.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    For Winterreise, Fischer Dieskau is a must for me.
    Which one? There are several! For me, my go-to is the 1972 recording with Gerald Moore (the second such recording together).

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    For Winterreise, Fischer Dieskau is a must for me.
    For Die schöne Müllerin, either Fischer Dieskau, Protschka or Schreier.

    Schwanengesang does not work for me as a cycle, it's a collection of songs that could also be replaced by other choices from his vast repertoire in a recital.
    Indeed, which DFD recording? For me it's either the one with Jorg Demus, or - despite the voice showing some signs of age - the one he did later in his career with Alfred Brendel. There's an intangible intimacy in them, which isn't quite there in the Moore one I have as well.

    Love Schreier as well, btw! And I know girlies shouldn't do this song cycle, in the same way as they don't understand Debussy but I find something incredibly wonderful in Brigitte Fassbaender's recording, on EMI.

    Delighted to see Ian and Jennifer Partridge manage one mention for Die schone Mullerin. (Post No.9) They are my favourites there as well!
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Jan-11-2020 at 20:10.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Indeed, which DFD recording? For me it's either the one with Jorg Demus, or - despite the voice showing some signs of age - the one he did later in his career with Alfred Brendel. There's an intangible intimacy in them, which isn't quite there in the Moore one I have as well.
    That would be my ranking as well. I'd give the nod to the DFD/Brendel CD, but I'm biased because that was the version I heard first, and loved.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    I have a fistfull of Winterreise in all voices, but my all time favorite is Brigitte Fassbaender.

    EDIT: Now that I am at my computer that has the music stash, here are my Winterreise sets by singer:

    Matthew Rose, bass

    Jonas Kaufmann, tenor

    Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto (awesome one too!)

    Brigitte Fassbaender, mezzo

    Lois Marshall, mezzo

    Christine Schafer, soprano
    Last edited by SixFootScowl; Jan-11-2020 at 23:00.
    Media lies and dishonest governors managed to get Americans give up their liberties over a virus with a >99% survival rate.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Indeed, which DFD recording? For me it's either the one with Jorg Demus, or - despite the voice showing some signs of age - the one he did later in his career with Alfred Brendel. There's an intangible intimacy in them, which isn't quite there in the Moore one I have as well.

    Love Schreier as well, btw! And I know girlies shouldn't do this song cycle, in the same way as they don't understand Debussy but I find something incredibly wonderful in Brigitte Fassbaender's recording, on EMI.

    Delighted to see Ian and Jennifer Partridge manage one mention for Die schone Mullerin. (Post No.9) They are my favourites there as well!
    I miss Paul. Honestly, though, in this case it's at least a little different; the songs are clearly from the perspective of a man, no? Anyway, if a female singer can pull it off, more power to them!

    Did Fritz Wunderlich ever record Winterreise? His Schöne Müllerin is indeed beautiful. I too find myself lost WRT DFD's recordings of the Winterreise, I definitely should get at least one of them, but I don't know which – I was leaning toward the one w/ Demus on DG.

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    In choosing a recording, first, you have to decide whether you prefer these two song cycles sung by a tenor or baritone, or perhaps a lightish baritone or darker baritone? The original key for both cycles is written for a tenor, and not a baritone. Yet Schubert initiated and maintained a close professional relationship and friendship with the Austrian baritone, Johann Michael Vogl, and is known to have written songs with Vogl in mind, such as Der Erlkönig, and performed Die Schöne Mullerin with Vogl, too--presumably with the songs transposed down; although Vogl is thought to have been a light baritone. Vogl also performed the complete Winterreise after Schubert's death. So, there is some precedent or justification for a baritone singing these two cycles; albeit a tenuous one, considering that Schubert's original key was undoubtedly his intention and first choice for both cycles. In other words, Schubert didn't compose these cycles with Vogl's baritone voice in mind, but rather for a tenor, despite that he had no problem performing Die Schöne Müllerin with his friend, whose artistry he admired.

    Personally, I prefer Die Schöne Müllerin to be sung in Schubert's original key, and I don't think it works very well when sung by a baritone, even by a baritone that I like in this music (such as Olaf Bär). I also prefer Winterreisse to be sung by a tenor, as well, but am less strict about it. I'll listen to a baritone, if the quality of singing warrants it. Nevertheless, I do prefer lighter baritones to bass baritones in Schubert's song cycles, no matter how remarkable the latter's artistry may be--because I find that the necessary transpositions down in key tend to bring the cycle into another world, interpretatively, from Schubert's original vision of this music. Therefore, I'm not as much a fan of bass-baritone Matthias Goerne in this music, for example, as others may be.

    There is also the question of whether to opt for a recording that offers a period fortepiano, or a modern piano? Personally, I can find a fortepiano to be very illuminating in both cycles, especially if matched with a fine tenor voice.

    The recordings in each category below have been put in a general order of preference, listed from first to last, and are the best performances that I've heard over the years:

    A) Winterreise, D. 911:

    I. Tenor:

    1. Versions performed on a period piano:

    --Christoph Prégardien, Andreas Staier (fortepiano), Teldec: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqby9Y1-mss.
    --Werner Gürer, Christoph Berner (fortepiano), Harmonia Mundi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDNRh_ooL-c
    --Jan Kobow, Christopher Hammer (Viennese fortepiano “Hammerflugel, c. 1810), Atma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP6z...gOvB0NBWu5Xi08

    2. Versions performed on a modern piano:

    --Peter Schreier, Sviatoslav Richter, live performance in Dresden, Philips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aim56V_X3Zg
    --Daniel Behle, Oliver Schnyder, Sony--This release offers both the original version for tenor and piano, and a piano trio arrangement of the cycle performed by Behle and the Oliver Schnyder Trio, which is fascinating, since at times the strings can bring out the wintry sound effects in the score more noticeably than a piano does (it can remind me a little bit of Sibelius): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ3P...V1D_COhZFnLxYg
    --Christoph Prégardien, Michael Gees, Challenge Classics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JSuVhpdEhI
    --Wolfgang Holzmair, Andras Haefliger, Capriccio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIuy...wBk0l1MI93HOVw
    --Peter Schreier, Andras Schiff, Decca: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q1fEQbnWoE

    I've not heard the entire recording by tenor Jonas Kauffmann & pianist Helmut Deutsch, but based on what I did listen to, Kauffmann's singing sounds too emotionally charged and overdone to me (he's almost operatic), & not for regular listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh1Ky7gj4vw.

    3. Historical choice:

    --Peter Anders (tenor), Günther Weissenborn, Tahra 1948, mono (or DG): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDsjX8a8n1o

    II. Baritone:

    1. Performed on a modern piano:

    --Olaf Bär, Geoffrey Parsons, EMI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vHQnx_GFoY
    https://www.amazon.com/Die-Schone-Mu...s=music&sr=1-5
    --Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore, EMI: I prefer Fischer-Dieskau's two classic early EMI recordings with pianist Gerald Moore: the mono one from 1955: https://www.amazon.com/Winterreise/d...vw_txt?ie=UTF8, and the stereo recording from 1962--which is my first choice overall for DFD: https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Wint...vw_txt?ie=UTF8, to both his DG recording with Moore, and the later Philips recording with Alfred Brendel--although I enjoyed both Moore and Brendel's piano playing on these recordings:

    Stereo, 1962: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8UDOmUcxCk

    However, I've not heard Fischer-Dieskau's 1965 Winterreise with pianist Jörg Demus, on DG, which gets strong reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Wint...2WX4144KPXSXHH
    --Gerard Finley, Julius Drake, Hyperion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbi2...12BBAD996FC173
    --Peter Mattei, David Nilsson, BIS--Mattei is excellent, but he has a rich, deep voice, & despite his remarkable artistry, Mattei's singing is slightly too dark for my tastes in this cycle. Though, for others, he may be a first choice.
    --Christian Gerhaher, Gerald Huber, RCA--I've not actually heard this cycle, but would like to, as I've liked Gerhaher in Schubert & Schumann. I see that it's on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE9OSAWp_k4. Nor have I heard bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff's well regarded recording, either.

    2. Historical choices (baritones):

    --Hans Hotter, Gerald Moore, EMI, 1954: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghWPqNpjWqU
    --Hans Hotter, Michael Raucheisen, DG 1943: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfTgRSofzKQ
    --Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore: EMI, Mono 1955: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XPR...uvype8tCLvYa8T

    B) Die Schöne Müllerin:

    Not surprisingly, my choices are all tenors:

    1. On a modern piano:

    --Gérard Souzay, Dalton Baldwin, Philips Festivo: Not everyone's going to agree with my 1st choice of a French tenor, Gerard Souzay, over the German tenor, Fritz Wunderlich on his legendary DG recording, but I slightly prefer Souzay due to Dalton Baldwin's more imaginative piano accompaniment, in comparison to Hubert Giesen's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OsshWyJgZo. But I must admit that Souzay's recording is the first I heard and imprinted on during the LP era. Nevertheless, I still like the interpretations better.
    --Fritz Wunderlich, Hubert Giesen, DG 1965: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3-oboVL1xE, & an earlier mono version from 1957, with pianist Kurt Heinz Stolze, on Sony & RCA: https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Die-...=music&sr=1-30, which some collectors prefer to Wunderlich's more famous 1965 DG recording; as well as another 1964 Stuttgart recording with Giesen, on the Hänssler label (remastered from the original SWR tapes), which I've not heard: https://www.amazon.com/Fritz-Wunderl...s=music&sr=1-3.

    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Die-...s=music&sr=1-1

    --Werner Güra, Jan Schultz, Harmonia Mundi--among Schubert tenors of the digital era, I don't think you can do much better than Gura's fine account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuQkZVa0tT8
    --Peter Schreier, Andras Schiff, Decca: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBcOOUYm6g8
    --Wolfgang Holzmair, Imogen Cooper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zMthJ-Ie4g
    --Josef Protschka, Helmut Deutsch, Capriccio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yec7...DnLa90gIn6fNE0

    But I've not heard Christoph Prégardien & Michael Gees, on Challenge Classics.

    2. On a period piano:

    --Jan Kobow, Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano), Atma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJQb...T5GdxOUV9Y0LvA

    Although I've not heard the following two recordings, which are likely worthwhile:

    --Daniel Behle, Sveinung Bjelland (fortepiano), Capriccio.
    --Christoph Prégardien, Andras Staier (fortepiano), Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jan-11-2020 at 22:15.

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