PERFORMER: Matthias Görne (baritone)Christine Schäfer (soprano)Graham Johnson (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDJ 33027
When the first recording in Hyperion’s Schubert edition was released in 1988, Johnson, reflecting on the scope and time-scale of this project, observed that eventually he would be working with singers who had then not even embarked on a singing career. Here is a good example of his observation. This is Dresden-born Görne’s debut recording. His baritone sound has a compelling warmth and vibrancy, and his consistency of colour and breadth of phrasing throughout the many vistas of the Schlegel brothers’ texts make this recording another jewel in the Schubert Edition crown. Johnson’s research and musical contributions are once again exemplary and illuminating.
There are several settings of August Schlegel’s poems and translations but the central section of the recording is taken up with Schubert’s settings of 11 of Friedrich Schlegel’s collection Abendröte, which Johnson believes could have become a cycle. Schäfer contributes four enchanting performances to this disc. Görne is gently bewitching in his exquisitely shaped phrases of ‘Lob der Tränen’ and ‘Wiedersehn’ and he reveals a talent for intensely characterful interpretations in the Petrarch Sonnets and later in ‘Die Gebüsche’ and the epic 14 stanzas of ‘Fülle der Liebe’. ‘Der Wanderer’ and ‘Die Sterne’ are haunting and deeply felt. This excellent disc reveals Schubert’s intense response to the Schlegels’ texts, particularly Friedrich’s. Elise McDougall