Die Erwartung D159 (Schiller) Dame Janet Baker [13'09]
Beitrag zur f√ľnfzigj√§hrigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri, ersten k.k. Hofkapellmesiter in Wien D407 Part 1: G√ľtigster, Bester! (Schubert) Daniel Norman, Philip Langridge, Maarten Koningsberger [2'11]
Beitrag zur f√ľnfzigj√§hrigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri, ersten k.k. Hofkapellmesiter in Wien D407 Part 2: G√ľtigster, Bester! (Schubert) Toby Spence Daniel Norman, Christopher Maltman, Neal Davies unaccompanied [2'25]
Beitrag zur f√ľnfzigj√§hrigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri, ersten k.k. Hofkapellmesiter in Wien D407 Part 3: So G√ľt‚?? als Weisheit str√∂men mild (Schubert) Toby Spence [2'01]
Beitrag zur f√ľnfzigj√§hrigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri, ersten k.k. Hofkapellmesiter in Wien D407 Part 4: Unser aller Grosspapa (Schubert) Toby Spence Daniel Norman, Christopher Maltman unaccompanied [0'46]
An die Sonne D439 (Uz) Patricia Rozario, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Jamie MacDougall, Michael George [6'11]
Das grosse Halleluja D442 (Klopstock) Daniel Norman, Toby Spence, Christopher Maltman, Stephan Loges, Neal Davies [2'29]
Schlachtgesang D443 (Klopstock) John Mark Ainsley, The London Schubert Chorale, Stephen Layton [2'00]
La pastorella al prato D528 (Goldini) Arleen Auger [2'07]
La pastorella al prato D513 (Goldini) John Mark Ainsley, Jamie MacDougall, Simon Keenlyside, Michael George [1'45]
An eine Quelle D530 (Claudius) Edith Mathis [2'00]
Das Lied vom Reifen D532 (Claudius) Edith Mathis [3'01]
Der Tod und das M√§dchen D531 (Claudius) Brigitte Fassbaender [2'34]
T√§glich zu singen D533 (Claudius) Elizabeth Connell [1'28]
Die Nacht D534 Part 1: Die Nacht ist dumpfig ed. Diabelli (Ossian/MacPherson tr. Harold) Anthony Rolfe Johnson [8'28] ct Die Nacht D534 Part 2: Lass Wolken an H√ľgeln ruhn ed. Diabelli (Ossian/MacPherson tr. Harold) Anthony Rolfe Johnson [4'58]
Track Listings (17) - Disc #18
Philoktet D540 (Mayrhofer) Thomas Hampson [2'22]
Memnon D541 (Mayrhofer) Thomas Hampson [4'56]
Der Schiffer D536 (Mayrhofer) Stephen Varcoe [1'59]
Am Strome D539 (Mayrhofer) Philip Langridge [2'25]
Antigone und Oedip D542 (Mayrhofer) Thomas Hampson, Marie McLaughlin [5'44]
Orest auf Tauris D548 (Mayrhofer) Thomas Hampson [3'04]
Auf dem See D543 (Goethe) Dame Felicity Lott [3'34]
Ganymed D544 (Goethe) Christine Sch√§fer [4'07]
Mahomets Gesang D549 ed. Hoorickx (Goethe) John Mark Ainsley [3'50]
Der J√ľngling und der Tod D545 (Spaun) Ann Murray [4'13]
"The recording of all 600-plus of Franz Schubert's songs was a labor of love for Hyperion Records and accompanist Graham Johnson. The project was characterized by a consistent level of top-notch performances by some of the premier Lied singers of our generation. While there might seem an economy in buying this complete 40-disc set, Beware. Inside the box you get 37 CDs of Schubert's songs for piano and voice presented in chronological order of composition, plus three CDs of songs by contemporary composers, often setting the same poems that Schubert used. Also included is a 400-page book of The Complete Song Texts, but here is the rub: the book lacks the liner notes from the individual CD booklets of the series.
Graham Johnson's original commentaries had insights into the genesis of the songs and the technical features fitting music to text. Where you got an exhaustive paragraph (or five) devoted to each song, here you get only a thumbnail biography of each year in Schubert's life followed by the texts of the songs for that year. The print is very small and the English translations are in an italicized font that makes the h's look like b's. Hyperion admits the difficulty of reprinting the original liner notes: "Several university presses have shown interest until they realised the scale of the project. We have worked out that the publication would run to nearly a million words--without the song texts. It would need at least two volumes. So we must see." In the meantime there is John Reed's Schubert Song Companion with commentaries on a majority of these songs.
There is a scholarly benefit to the chronological sequencing of the songs; you can trace Schubert's development from precocious teen to master songcrafter. There is some tediousness in the early material, however. Adrian Thompson tackles a lot of the awkward young works, and generally I would want to skip these when relistening to the set. Another quirk of the chronological presentation is that it divides Winterreise across two CDs. Schubert composed this work in two parts as he discovered Müller's poems, hence there are intervening songs that divide the opus. Frankly, I would have preferred Winterreise on one disc.
It is nice, in one way, that by reordering the series you get a continuously varied lineup of performers; sopranos followed by tenors followed by altos and baritones. If, however, you want to listen to everything recorded by Arleen Auger, her material is scattered across fifteen discs. There is something to be said for the focus of the original CDs--Goethe songs, strophic songs, water songs, night, nature, etc. Schubert had a vast output that lends itself to thematic programming. Graham Johnson himself frames it best in the notes to Volume 1: "[The lesser-known songs] are, in their own shy way, treasures, but placed together in a large jewel-case, a boxed set, there is a danger that too many of them, one after the other, make a dull effect.... Should they not be displayed a few at a time where the famous items of the collection throw light on, rather than show up, their humbler brothers?"
There are omissions in the box set, not of actual songs but of individual performances. Janet Baker's rendition of "Der Pilgrim" D794 is left out to avoid duplication with Thomas Allen's. Three tracks from Brigitte Fassbaender's solo disc are replaced with takes by other singers. So on for Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Margaret Price and others.
If I had to do it all over again I would invest in each of the individual CDs of the series. If a book of the liner notes is ever published, that will be another chunk of money, diminishing the economy of the box set. For those of you interested in Schubert's chronological development as a song writer--get the original CDs, rip them as MP3s onto your computer, resequence them according to Hyperion's Web site and upload them onto your iPod."
Concur in Full
W. Harwood | Burlington, VT USA | 09/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I concur in full with the previous review of this marvelous collection. The liner notes, photos, and additonal information from Graham Johnson in the original individual discs were the best I have ever read. I have about a dozen of them. I was sorely disappointed to find in the big box only a small-print version of the songs, convenient in one place, but without the splendid commentaries. Bring on the bukly reprint!"
Impresses more than it satisfies...
Florestan | Chicago, IL | 04/01/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I found Ryan Morris's 5-star review of this item, "Unless u r a spoiled brat......this is nothing less than a five" deeply flawed. In addition to lacking decorum, ad hominem attacks (to wit: "u r a spoiled brat") portend an argument where appeals to reason succumb to expressions of rapture. So far as I can tell, Ryan Morris's review does just that. I too have listened to the entire series. There is plenty to treasure, but "absolute, total, enjoyment from beginning to end" is a rather exaggerated claim. No one questions Graham Johnson's ardor, nor fails to marvel in the unprecedented scope of Hyperion's Schubert project. But "allowing [one]sself the awe of this project" is no substitute for more objective, detailed engagement with the material it comprises.
Ryan Morris characterizes the omission of Johnson's liner notes both as a "minor quibble" and a "trivial matter." To this I take great exception. Johnson's original liner notes betray the handiwork of a man in almost unprecedented sympathy with the material. The same cannot be said of his playing. His musical limitations as an accompanist are especially evident in the early songs, where Schubert's eventual mastery of the idiom could not be convincingly presaged--the bloated szenen-cum-lieder Vatermorder and Leichenfantasie, for example. In the latter, despite the fact that Thomas Allen's voice is unquestionably kinder on the ear than Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's ever was, his recording does not compare favorably. For D F-D, Gerald Moore's playing is laden with color and lends the performance some needed forward momentum. It communicates in ways that a brave singer battling Schubert's exceptionally cruel tessituras cannot. For Allen, Johnson's playing can most politely be described as sterile. There is nothing especially evocative about it. The piano always sounds like a piano.
Johnson is everywhere praised as a wunderkind accompanist of daunting intellect. I believe it is more accurate to describe Johnson as a wunderkind musicologist who happens to be a competent pianist. Reading Johnson's extensive notes as I listened to the 11 extant volumes of the Schumann song edition served only to confirm this impression. Johnson's notes would have been a tremendous asset to this set. Without them, this set's greatest virtue lies in the opportunity to hear several songs for the very first (and possibly the last?) time. This must be qualified to some extent: some of the rarities heard here came by their fates honestly. Hyperion's decision to re-sequence these songs chronologically was, on the whole, a regrettable one. Tracing the evolution of Schubert's art is not necessarily the best means of developing enduring appreciation for it. I suppose there is something to be said for "mixing" it up singer-wise. Though all of the singers who participated in this project were immensely talented, some were recorded well past their primes and/or saddled with songs poorly suited to their manner of singing. The new sequence tends to smooth the rough spots/let them off the hook. Many lieder fans (this one included) welcome the prospect of their favorite recordings being one-upped by something/someone new. Anyone harboring such an agenda is apt to find this set sorely lacking. With all due respect to Ryan Morris, "sorely lacking" has no place in a 5-star review."
What a pity
Angus W. Grant | Melbourne, Australia | 06/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So many wise words from the above reviewers.
You are only going to buy this set if you are a avid collector or for Academic interest. It certainly is enlightening hearing Schubert's style develop throughout the set. However, as a clever as I think I am, I would be getting so much more out of this process if I had Johnson's essays to guide my listening. They were the reason, as much as the recordings themselves that I wanted to have this collection. I actually regret having it now. I rarely listen to it, as it is rather unapproachable as it is, especially not having the unifying thread of the artists to help you through. The presentation is also very average. The slimline cases will scratch and look tatty with repeated listening and it's not as if it is a bargain box, although cheaper than the individual discs. Having a chunk of foam to stop the book rattling around is really rather ordinary and tawdry.
I think at the very least Hyperion could put the essays on a CD ROM if they say the cost of printing them is too prohibitive.
It still has to have four stars because of the quality of the recordings and the cheap price, but you would be better off spending the extra money and buying the individual discs."
A useful reference resource but ...
Michael Robinson | VA United States | 04/26/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I concur with Tom Lawrence, "Florestan" and Angus Grant in their reviews. As someone with a decent collection of Schubert song CD's, over 40, the set as presented is an academic achievement and useful for sampling individual songs otherwise unavailable on disk. However for entertainment or casual listening I just do not play the individual disks but return to the song recitals of the original issue, or other recital disks. Apart from some extended listening on first purchase, and occasional searching for a particular rarely performed song as a reference performance, it sits un-played.
The booklet is beyond a nuisance. Even as just a location index to the series it has its problems, the type in bold face is too small and set too close together to read, I do not need glasses to read and, have to use use a low powers magnifying glass - if only an additional 1/2 line of blank space had been allowed between the entries if a standard 12 pt. type face were not to be used. In order to find songs I have had to blow up a Xerox of the pages to 11 x 8 in. sheets to provide me with a working index. For the song texts I use another source. One wishes that Hyperion had provided the full materials from the original issue, and on CD as a PDF if their printing is in such reduced size so that that texts etc. could then be printed out in what ever size an individual requires. "