Schubert: Winterreise

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Schubert
LABELS: Arthaus
ALBUM TITLE: Schubert
WORKS: Winterreise
PERFORMER: Jorma Hynninen, Ralf Gothoni; dir.Julie Didier
CATALOGUE NO: 100 258
This intimate concert performance of Schubert’s intensely moving song cycle takes place in the Reidar Sarestoniemi Museum in Lapland. Shots of the performers are interspersed with accompanying footage of stunning winter landscapes and Sarestoniemi’s paintings. At its best, as in ‘Wasserflut’, this added visual dimension works in the same way as Schubert’s piano accompaniment, mirroring the action, imagery and emotion of the text; but there are times when the heavy coverage of the paintings detracts from the music. Jorma Hynninen and Ralf Gothoni give a dark, compelling performance; Hynninen’s smooth baritone can be as impassioned as Ian Bostridge’s tenor in the staging by David Alden (on a Warner DVD reviewed in February 2001), but the performance fails to draw the viewer in so completely, and Hynninen lacks Bostridge’s exceptional range of tone colour.

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Like many DVDs transferred from video, the disc doesn’t take advantage of DVD technology, and the stereo sound is very flat, but at least there are subtitles in four languages and song-by-song navigation. Katina Ellery