WORKS: An 1822 Schubertiad: Lieder
PERFORMER: John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Maarten Koningsberger (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano); London Schubert Chorale/Stephen Layton
CATALOGUE NO: CDJ 33028
By 1822 Schubert’s reputation in Vienna was fairly secure, even if his income was not. This was a fruitful time both personally and professionally – as Graham Johnson writes in his typically comprehensive notes, ‘Everything about the music of this period shows a sense of independence and confidence’. More poignantly, these were the last months in which Schubert was untroubled by syphilis.
The songs on this disc – the 28th in Hyperion’s ongoing edition – all date from 1821 and 1822.Schubert’s preoccupation with Goethe continues – there are ten settings here, including the extravagant partsong ‘Im Gegenwärtigen Vergangenes’ and the lucid ‘An die Entfernte’. Perhaps the most interesting songs here, however, are the two lyrics by the homosexual poet August Graf von Platen, ‘Die Liebe hat gelogen’ and ‘Du liebst mich nicht’, which seem to anticipate Winterreise in their stark depictions of a desperate and unrequited love. Both Maarten Koningsberger and JohnMark Ainsley show themselves to be expressive and characterful Schubertians on this enjoyable and instructive disc. William Humphreys-Jones