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Thread: Schubert song cycle recommendations please

  1. #16
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizwell View Post
    Benjamin Britten's and Peter Pears' Wintereise is wonderful. As are much of the rest of their Schubert recitals.
    You'll get no argument from me on this - the Pears/Britten version has always been one of my favorites. But I am always hesitant to recommend it blindly, because Pears' voice is extremely idiosyncratic, and one which many people find unbearable.

    But Britten's contribution is superb, and illustrates how important the pianist's role is in this cycle. It's no accident that after Gerald Moore retired, Fischer-Dieskau made most of his recordings with pianists with significant careers as soloists - Brendel, Barenboim, Perahia, Eschenbach.

    The other advantage of the Pears version is that he's a tenor, and I think that the cycle sounds best with a tenor or high baritone that can either sing in the original keys or with minimal downward transposition. Much as I admire singers like Hotter, van Dam, Matthew Rose, and Groissböick, their versions of the cycle require significant transposition which reduces the clarity of the piano part and also makes an already pretty dark cycle excessively depressing.

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    Senior Member Dulova Harps On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seitzpf View Post
    I agree, Schiotz and Moore are magical here. The recording is mono from 1945 but decent sound.
    After listening to most of the recommendations over the last few days i can report back that the Shiotz and Moore recording is now my favorite Die Shonne Mullerin. It's certainly wonderful and i keep returning to it. Thank you Hermastersvoice for suggesting it! And thank you so much for everyone's suggestions. I shall report back with my thoughts on Winterreise and Schwanengesang.

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    Senior Member aussiebushman's Avatar
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    Try to find the 1933 recording of Winterreise sung by Gerhard Husch with Hanns Udo Müller. It is superb. Avoid the recording he made many years later when he was way past his prime
    Last edited by aussiebushman; Apr-12-2020 at 03:33.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I'll second both the Pears/Britten and the Schreier/Richter recordings of Wintereise. Another one of interest is by Christoph Prégardien with Andreas Staier.

    The Pears/Britten Schoene Muellerin is also good. But there are a lot of recommendable Schubert lieder discs and sets - the music an endless source for great singers to demonstrate their special talents. It almost seems a shame to single any out.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Apr-12-2020 at 12:19.

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    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    If you are looking for CD's there is a nice issue on Decca Eloquence, with the three Schubert cycles by tenor Peter Schreier and Andras Schiff. As mentioned before, the Schreier/Richter Winterreise recording is a must have. And the recordings of bariton Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with Alfred Brendel are my favourite DFD recordings, as Brendel excels on the piano and DFD has a wise old voice, which fits in with the life changing subjects of the lyrics.

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  11. #21
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Lots of recommendation are made, however if you want to extent your horizon try this one:




    0028948021574 ( product number)
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NLAdriaan View Post
    ......... And the recordings of bariton Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with Alfred Brendel are my favourite DFD recordings, as Brendel excels on the piano and DFD has a wise old voice, which fits in with the life changing subjects of the lyrics.
    DFD was a great artist but has never been a favourite in Schubert for me - he can seem too mannered - but his early recordings with pianist Klaus Billing show a very different side to his art and one I am more attuned with. He sounds very young indeed and his characterisation is much more subtle.

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    Senior Member Janspe's Avatar
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    Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber are an amazing duo, totally recommended - not only in Schubert, but also (and maybe even more so!) in their stunning Schumann recordings.

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  17. #24
    Senior Member Dulova Harps On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Lots of recommendation are made, however if you want to extent your horizon try this one:




    0028948021574 ( product number)
    Thanks for this suggestion! Some lovely works. Very much enjoyed listening to it last night. Auf De Strom is great was just listening to it a few nights before ( a 1954 live recording with Ricard Lewis and Dennis Brain).

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  19. #25
    Senior Member Dulova Harps On's Avatar
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    I have listened to a recording of Schwanengesang by Peter Schreier and Andras Schiff which i very much enjoyed.As for Winterreise i have listened to a few recordings now and for whatever reason i just cannot connect with it. I don't dislike it but it just isn't grabbing me yet. Have also listened to various Lieder recordings and very much enjoyed the CD Nachtviolen by Christian Gerhaher.
    Thanks everyone again for your thoughtful suggestions. I most certainly will have many hours of listening pleasure ahead of me in exploring Schubert's works.

  20. #26
    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    DFD was a great artist but has never been a favourite in Schubert for me - he can seem too mannered - but his early recordings with pianist Klaus Billing show a very different side to his art and one I am more attuned with. He sounds very young indeed and his characterisation is much more subtle.
    I agree with you on the 'mannered' artificial singing of DFD. I have the same with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. This sometimes stands in the way of enjoying the music. To me, in his later recordings, DFD's singing however becomes more personal, natural and unpolished, you can hear imperfections and limitations, which somehow adds to the music. This is the case in the recordings with Brendel.

    But the more I hear of him, the more I appreciate the Lieder recordings of Peter Schreier. He has this storytelling voice and is also very musical. It just sounds right with him. Be it Wolf, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, it always is relaxed and inviting.

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  22. #27
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    I collected half a dozen different recordings of Winterreise when I began exploring Lieder but, after listening to this 1966 recording by Fischer-Dieskau and Jorg Demus, my craving for the perfect version was satisfied.

    If DFD's singing is mannered and arficial, then mannered and artificial is what I crave in Lieder. I've read that kind of criticism before and never been able to understand it. Perhaps it's because I love words and am passionate about poetry, as was Fischer-Dieskau. I can listen closely to his Lieder singing again and again and find new shades of expression in it. I think he recorded it so many times because he was finding more and more to express, more subtlety that he hadn't been aware of when he was younger. He was also a fine actor by the way. But in this 1966 his voice is still fresh and beautiful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l8l0HPDMOE

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    I can't stand Bostridge, his voice sounds too 'castrated'. It is anaemic singing, a fair bit falsetto, and lacking any real power. Hotter is the most powerful of all lieder singers. His Schwanengesang I think is definitive. Fischer-Dieskau has a special relationship with this repertoire, but he can be a little fussy and vocally variable. Brigitte Fassbaender gives a serviceable account if you feel that sopranos ought to be able to tackle the 'male' cycles of Schubert. I once had a very enjoyable, but little known recording by Ronald Dowd of the Winterreise. Worth seeking if you want an alternative tenor version.

  24. #29
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius12 View Post
    I can't stand Bostridge, his voice sounds too 'castrated'. It is anaemic singing, a fair bit falsetto, and lacking any real power.
    Well, I agree about most of this, and would add that you should avoid him in concert, where the physical mannerisms are just as offputting. But I did hear him sing in Boston Symphony Hall with the BSO, in a performance of the Britten War Requiem with Goerke and Quasthoff (I just realized that this was 20 years ago!). I have to admit that when heard live, the voice seems a bit more substantial, and I had no trouble hearing him from the second balcony, where the physical mannerisms were not nearly as noticeable as they were when I heard him more recently in the more intimate Jordan Hall.

    Hotter is the most powerful of all lieder singers. His Schwanengesang I think is definitive.
    Pretty close, although I think that Terfel's, recorded early in his career, is also superb.

    I once had a very enjoyable, but little known recording by Ronald Dowd of the Winterreise. Worth seeking if you want an alternative tenor version.
    I have a vague recollection that this appeared briefly on CD - I'll have to look next time I'm in the basement where my collection resides. It does appear to be on Spotify.

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  26. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiebushman View Post
    Try to find the 1933 recording of Winterreise sung by Gerhard Husch with Hanns Udo Müller. It is superb. Avoid the recording he made many years later when he was way past his prime
    Yes, the later Huesch was vocally pretty strained. I am fairly sure that F-D was an admirer of Huesch (and that in a significant sense he was F-D's predecessor)

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