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The Hyperion Schubert Edition 20 ~ An 1815 Schubertiad / Rozario, Ainsley, Bostridge, George; Graham
Franz Schubert, John Mark Ainsley, Ian Bostridge
The Hyperion Schubert Edition 20 ~ An 1815 Schubertiad / Rozario, Ainsley, Bostridge, George; Graham
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (32) - Disc #1

Volume 20 of Hyperion's complete Schubert song series (the whole project will run to the mid-30s when complete) consists of a "Schubertiad" organized around pieces composed in the year 1815. We know that these Schubert par...  more »

      
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Volume 20 of Hyperion's complete Schubert song series (the whole project will run to the mid-30s when complete) consists of a "Schubertiad" organized around pieces composed in the year 1815. We know that these Schubert parties really did take place, usually with the composer at the piano and his various friends taking the vocal parts. Tenor John Mark Ainsley is joined by Ian Bostridge, Patricia Rozario, and Michael George, as well as the London Schubert Chorale for a highly varied program including a lullaby and two--count 'em--two drinking songs. A good time was had by all. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

Schubert: An 1815 Schubertiad
Melanie Eskenazi | Cheam UK | 07/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Schubert: An 1815 SchubertiadThis was the disc which first introduced the present writer to Ian Bostridge and John Mark Ainsley as Schubert interpreters; having only known the former as an outstanding Tamino and interpreter of Britten, and the latter as the pre-eminent Bach passions Evangelist, Orfeo and Don Ottavio of our time, it was a revelation to find both tenors as fluent, captivating and word - sensitive in Lieder as they are in opera and oratorio. The contributions of these two wonderful singers are not the only reason to buy this recording, however, since the bass Michael George, and, to a lesser extent, the soprano Patricia Rosario give outstanding performances of well-known songs as well as neglected treasures.With 32 mostly superlative tracks to choose from, where does one begin to assess such delights? Passing over the lustily jolly drinking songs in which the baritone and bass are definitely in their element, three examples of treasurable singing and playing must suffice. The little "Wiegenlied" (the setting of the short poem by Körner and not the better-known one by Seidl) is just over two minutes of the finest singing and playing you could ever hope to hear. Ainsley performs this little gem with his unmistakeable poetic legato, the tenderness of words and music conveyed with sublime directness and intimacy yet without a trace of archness; the voice is at once sensual and ingenuous, which of course is ideal for the slightly ambiguous nature of this lovely song. Johnson's accompaniment is exquisitely judged, the heartrending postlude played with what can only be called a poetic touch.In contrasting mood, another unjustly neglected gem in "Als ich sie erröten sah" is given an ideally ardent performance by Ian Bostridge. This adorable song, on the subject of the lover's rapture on seeing his beloved blush, has the instruction "Mit Liebes Affekt," and that is exactly how Bostridge sings it; unfazed by the long lines and able to achieve the perfect sense of spontaneity and rapture without ever becoming overblown, this performance shows just why his every recital is greeted with such praise - he reminds us that Schubert's music is not only that of youth but of the "eternal renewal of song". For those who enjoy hearing singers perform very difficult songs, and even more, for anyone who believes that the arts of perfect breath control, command of high tessitura and simultaneous attention to individual words are non-existent at the present time, I can only refer them to my other choice, "Die Erste Liebe." This "real tenor song" as Graham Johnson calls it in his excellent notes, is performed here in the original key of C major, and it is no exaggeration to say that John Mark Ainsley performs it with unique skill. It is extremely intense and thus better suited to his more passionate timbre than the more spontaneous open tone that characterizes Bostridge, and he gives it an interpretation that lifts it into the realms of the sublime. The dramatic impetus of the words is carried forward on a flood of perfect tone, and the high A of the second line's "unbekannten Geisterlande" is floated heavenwards with ecstatic grace. The whole performance - Johnson's accompaniment is equally sublime - is an illustration of the truth of what was once written of the great pianist Solomon - that "Interpretation as demonstrated at this level is seen as fundamentally the same art as composition - the art of creating music". For anyone who has not yet experienced the Hyperion Schubert editions, this disc is the perfect introduction - and for those who have, it is of a standard to rival the very highest and should not be missed."