Fair stopgap for a work that deserves better
b_mansfield | 09/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no libretto or translation, the recorded sound is like a mediocre live performance, the liner notes and synopsis are a valiant but amusing effort in German-to-English translation, and several of the voices, the women especially, seem miscast in their roles. (A favorite singer, Kurt Moll, is splendid vocally--as usual--but to me he seems TOO noble for the Count, a role which might be better served by a lighter, more generic bass.)But Schubert still manages to shine through.I'm no scholar, but I can say that the music is consistently tuneful, the orchestration lovely. There are a few spots of difficulty with the vocal lines--it sounds like Schubert expected his singers to have the breath-regulating skills of an oboist or horn player. But most of it is singable and memorable. And you haven't REALLY heard Helene's romance ("Ich schleiche bang und still") until you've heard the orchestral version--beautiful. Now, if only we could have a first-rate production of this hour-long treat. Schubert and his fans deserve it."