Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz [Vienna] Schubert, Andrew Willis, Julianne Baird|
Schubert: Winterreise, Original 1827 Version
Genres: Pop, Classical
Historical interest, but not a lot else.
Celia A. Sgroi | 02/13/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The focus of interest in this recording is the fact that it presents the first 12 songs of Winterreise ("Gute Nacht" to "Einsamkeit") as Schubert originally composed them, thinking at the time that they comprised the entire cycle. Of course he soon discovered that there were 12 more poems and had to go back to work. But this recording is of the original 12-song cycle, using the "Urania" version as it appears in the autograph score preserved in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City. In addition to being the original version in the original keys, the accompanist plays a fortepiano. And that's about it. I'm not real sold on sopranos singing Winterreise (Not live ones anyway. Lotte Lehmann is different.), although I wouldn't mind hearing Christina Schaefer sing it. Julianne Baird is apparently an early music specialist, which is supposed to give this performance an additional air of authenticity. Basically, what it means is that she sings with little or no vibrato and little attention to the texts either. She sings in a very reverberant acoustic and her high notes are often quite painful to listen to. The singer and the fortepianist seem to be performing in two separate rooms, which is fine because they don't seem to pay much attention to one another anyway. Andrew Willis is a fortepiano specialist, but he is nowhere as interesting as Andreas Staier with Christoph Pregardien.It's not an interesting performance, and its only virtue is its"originality," so if you're one of those people who can hear what keys songs are being sung in, it might be of interest. To the untrained ear (like mine), that isn't very significant. It is, however, interesting to think of the first 12 songs as a cycle on their own, a very open-ended one with "Einsamkeit" as the final song, and wonder what Schubert must have thought when he discovered those other 12 poems. However, you really don't need to buy this CD to do that, of course. All you have to do is stop your CD player after "Einsamkeit" in whatever complete version you like to listen to. Personally, I bought the CD for documentation purposes, but I don't expect to listen to it again soon."