Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin / Maltman

Audio Samples

>Schubert, Franz : Die schone Mullerin, D 795/Op. 25

Album Summary

>Schubert, Franz : Die schone Mullerin, D 795/Op. 25
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Coined by Maltman as the "pinnacle of the Lieder repertoire" the complete Schubert song cycles are one of the most demanding works in the whole repertoire, more often undertaken by the tenor voice. The first release, "Die Schöne Müllerin", in May 2011, was Schubert's first complete song cycle, composed at the age of just 26. Running the gamut of the emotional spectrum, the work requires the singer to draw upon a full range of moods, from raw emotional turmoil and unpredictability, to introspection and ultimately resignation. Maltman states that the work requires "a certain vulnerability" in its portrayal of the lovelorn young miller, and to achieve this, he and Johnson chose to transpose several of the songs back up to the outer reaches of the baritone range, closer to that of the tenor. The duo's decision to take the voice out of its comfort zone and embrace the tension this produces undeniably adds to the color and characterization which Maltman brings to the work: "These musical masterpieces present an endless pursuit and a constant re-examination."

"This performance...is uncommonly convincing in its combination of vividness and deep introspection...A strong point is Johnson’s piano-playing...but this is very much a partnership. Maltman is a compelling narrator, making you see the pictures and moods described, and imaginatively mixing half-voice and vehement full tone. The Hateful Colour is thrillingly dramatic." -The Sunday Times

"Maltman's journeyman miller is volatile, susceptible, prone to violent swings between elation and self-communing inwardness, but not one who senses his tragic fate virtually from the outset. With its fine bright resonance, his virile baritone initially exudes health and an eagerness to seize life...Maltman's ardent, impulsive, intensely 'lived' performance, partnered and inspired by the ever-illuminating Johnson, should be heard by anyone who loves the cycle." -Gramophone

"Maltman brings a fierce intelligence and a wide range of vocal colour to his performance, and he manages to balance a sense of overarching emotional control from beginning to end with in-the-moment spontaneity...Graham Johnson's accompanying - which now supports, now ironizes the ostensible emotion of the song - adds depth too." -Classic FM

"This is an extraordinarily subtle performance of Schubert's first great cycle. Wonderfully recorded, with an ideal balance between soloist and pianist, it leaves you wondering, at times, who is accompanying whom...Maltman, with his gloriously warm light baritone, is born along on the stream of the piano's uncertainties, and the total effect is disturbing and unique...indispensable for anyone wanting to probe beneath its adorable surface." -BBC Music Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wigmore Hall, London (12/08/2010).



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Works Details

>Schubert, Franz : Die schöne Müllerin, D 795/Op. 25
  • Performer: Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Running Time: 59 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1823
  • Studio/Live: Live