Schubert

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Franz Schubert
LABELS: Sony
ALBUM TITLE: Schubert
WORKS: Liebesbotschaft; Erlkönig; Rastlose Liebe; Geheimes; Ganymed; Du bist die Ruh; Im Frühling; Die Götter Griechenlands; Gretchen am Spinnrade; Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt; Suleika I; Nachtviolen, etc
PERFORMER: Natalie Dessay (soprano), Thomas Savy (clarinet), Philippe Cassard (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 88985419882

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Lots of the numbers on this recital will be familiar to Schubert lovers – the teenager’s masterpieces Gretchen am Spinnrade and Erlkönig, miniature jewels like Nachtviolen, and the late, great Der Hirt auf dem Felsen with clarinet obbligato, from the final months of his life. Confusingly, Franz Liszt’s piano transcription of Schubert’s Auf dem Wasser zu singen is also included, an impressive but oddly alien concert warhorse within the recital.

This inspired collection of songs could serve as a useful introduction to newcomers to this repertoire, and Philippe Cassard’s tender, balanced touch is a delight. But I often struggled to decipher Natalie Dessay’s German, and her voice leaned towards the fragile rather than the intimate. 

In the liner notes, musings by Dessay, Cassard, and Wolfgang Holzmair (who coached the artists) are translated into three languages. However, the German poetry is not translated, a strange decision which will put off many non-native speakers.

Natasha Loges

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