Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Schubert, Peter Schreier, András Schiff|
Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin / Winterreise / Schwanengesang
Genres: Pop, Classical
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Superb Schubert song cycles from a thorough artist
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 10/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Schreier has earned his place as the dominant German lyric tenor since the death of Fritz Wunderlich four decades ago. Unlike Wunderlich, Schreier doesn't possess an ingratiating voice. There's a hard, shrill edge to the top notes and a lack of warmth throughout. To compensate, Schreier exhibits artistry and integrity in almost everything he does. I find, therefore, that as with Peter Pears, who also had an unattractive voice, my reaction is mixed. These Schubert song cycles are superbly sung, with impeccable control and style. Schreier has excellent instincts and knows how to make these seemingly simple but treacherous lieder sound easy.
He's at the height of his powers in all three cycles, showing no signs of vocal aging. The range of emotion is so wide as we move from one song to another that no singer has been equally convincing i all of them. Schreier is strongest in the straightforward ones, and he can handle any vocal challenge. But he's rarely inside Schubert's sense of tenderness, vulnerability, or despair. At those moments in all three cycles one gets the feeling that Schreier doesn't share those emotions.
But I don't want to exaggerate. If one turns to EMI's trio of song cycles with Olaf Bar, much praised in his day by British critics, there's no comparison with Schreier's firm, eloquent presentation. for me, these are readings to respect but rarely love. Andras Schiff, albeit a notable Schubert pianist, shows little imagination in the accompaniments. He lags behind Benjamin Britten, Mitsuko Uchida, and Alfred Brendel, who have made superb forays into the same repertoire. Yet again one must respect Schiff's abilities; he's as good as Andsnes with Ian Bostridge on EMI. IN fact, despite the fame of Schreier's very early Winterreise with Sviatoslav Richter on Philips, this later one is less grim and not afflicted with a contagion of coughing from a live audience. The Schwanengesang is especially welcome since this cycle-that-isn't-a-cycle is rarely done by tenors.
Despite spells of singing that isn't innocent or spontaneous enough, this is a fine bargain set. No better exists if you want all three song cycles from the same singer. Only the Fischer-Dieskau set from EMI is really competitive."