Schubert: Lieder

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

WORKS: Lieder
PERFORMER: Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 3464 Reissue (1989)
Sarah Walker has never sounded better on disc than in this 1989 recital centred around the poetry of Goethe and the theme of night. Discerningly accompanied by Roger Vignoles on a mellow-toned 1864 Kirkman Grand, she shows a special affinity with such mystical night pieces as ‘Nacht und Träume’ and ‘Im Abendrot’, singing with rapt inwardness (the timbre at times uncannily reminiscent of Janet Baker) and an intense, concentrated legato. Elsewhere Walker catches vividly and without exaggeration the ecstatic yearning of the Suleika songs, the turbulent interior drama of ‘Die junge Nonne’ (the final sense of release beautifully conveyed) and the eeriness and desperation of the grand guignol ballad ‘Der Zwerg’. As an inexpensive introduction to some of Schubert’s greatest and best-loved songs, this generously filled disc is hard to beat. Richard Wigmore