Schubert/Schumann: Lieder

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COMPOSERS: Schubert/Schumann
WORKS: Lieder
PERFORMER: Peter Pears (tenor) Benjamin Britten (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 443 933-2 ADD (1965/75)
Pears’s voice remains a controversial one, and here its inherent instability seems ill-suited to the Romantic lied. That said, the tenor’s musicianship, incisive diction and vocal skills compensate for a lack of sheer colouristic variety. In Schumann’s Dichterliebe (1965), Britten provides technically accomplished accompaniments and Pears’s approach is regularly thoughtful. The Schubert selection, recorded in 1968 and 1972, includes several favourites, as well as more obscure items. Pears’s effortful tone makes for some distinctly uneasy listening, a problem exacerbated by the unflatteringly close recording. There are no texts. George Hall