Schubert: Die schone Mullerin

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LABELS: Belart
WORKS: Die schone Mullerin
PERFORMER: Gerard Souzay (baritone); Dalton Baldwin (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 461 522-2 ADD Reissue (1964)
The partnership between Gérard Souzay and Dalton Baldwin was already ten years old when this performance of Schubert’s cycle was released in 1964. It’s closely recorded, with the piano tone registering as a touch dry, but Baldwin’s playing is consistently astute and flowing. Souzay’s Lieder singing was miraculous in the perfection of his German and in its fine balancing of purely vocal niceties with a close engagement with the needs of the text. Few, if any, non-German artists have achieved nearly as much. With this oft-recorded cycle, a 1992 account by Andreas Schmidt (DG) is admirable, but classic interpretations by Fritz Wunderlich (DG) join with several by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (especially appealing is the one with Gerald Moore on EMI) at what must be considered the top end of the market. Souzay is clearly there too, and no one need feel short-changed with his marvellously fresh and delicately nuanced approach. George Hall