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Schubert Revisited (Matthias Goerne)

Matthias Goerne (baritone); The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Florian Donderer (DG)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Schubert Revisited – Lieder arr. Alexander Schmalcz
Matthias Goerne (baritone); The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Florian Donderer
DG 483 9758   70:07 mins


Composers have always reinvented Schubert for their own purposes, and sometimes in their own image – Liszt and Brahms to name but two. The virtue of the pianist Alexander Schmalcz’s orchestrations for baritone Matthias Goerne, his regular recital partner, is that he strives to hold faith with what he reads as Schubert’s intentions, even if there are beguiling hints of Mahler and Wagner to be heard – and Berlioz too in the three Harper’s songs from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister.

Still, when Schmalcz does wander it’s always for good reason. So, a flute drifts like mist across the water as the fisherman embraces his lover in ‘Des Fischers Liebesglück’, and Death is given a trombone calling card in ‘Der Tod und das Mädchen’.

Matthias Goerne, who effectively leads the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from the platform, is in fine form. ‘Erlkönig’ here becomes a chilling one act opera, while the voice is lightened to great effect in ‘Pilgerweise’ as another of Schubert’s wanderers trudges across the landscape.

It’s the painterly colours that Goerne finds in the voice which
makes him such an expressive artist in a song like ‘Abendstern’. And who can resist the final orchestral sigh at the end of Alexander Schmalcz’s version of that song?


Christopher Cook