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Schubert: Schwanengesang; Sonata D960 / Matthias Goerne, baritone; Christoph Eschenbach, piano

Album Summary

>Schubert, Franz : Schwanengesang, D 957
>Schubert, Franz : Herbst, D 945
>Schubert, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B flat major, D 960
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Matthias Goerne's ongoing survey of Schubert lieder for harmonia mundi has further confirmed his reputation as one of the most gifted exponents of the song repertoire. Goerne does not 'interpret' Schubert; he lives each lied from the inside and invites the listener to share this poetic and musical intimacy. The sixth volume in the series focuses on Schubert's monumental Schwanengesang. This posthumous collection was named by its first publisher, who presented it as Schubert's final musical testament. Also included as a bonus is an unforgettable performance of Schubert's other swan song, the piano sonata D.960, played by one of the baritone's favorite partners, Christoph Eschenbach.

"Some of those songs – Der Atlas, Der Doppelgänger – become exercises in gothic horror, others are slowed down to the point of inertia, though the group of Rellstab settings is generally buoyant and beautifully nuanced." -The Guardian

Financial Times
This new Schwanengesang is characteristically thoughtful and probing: we hear Schubert's lyrical heartbeat at its most artless and unaffected, outstandingly so in the ghostly stillnesses of "Die Stadt" and "Der DoppelgSnger"... The second CD is devoted to one of Schubert's last piano sonatas, to which Eschenbach brings classical grace and refinement, never seeking to milk the Romantic doom and gloom.

The Guardian
Some of those songs - Der Atlas, Der DoppelgSnger - become exercises in gothic horror, others are slowed down to the point of inertia, though the group of Rellstab settings is generally buoyant and beautifully nuanced.

Gramophone Magazine
The distinctive mellow roundness of Goerne's timbre, at once deep and soft-grained, and his care for a true, 'bound' legato are pleasures in themselves. He and the ever-fastidious Eschenbach invariably allow you to savour the sheer beauty of Schubert's melodic lines.

BBC Music Magazine
Goerne is showing an increasing tendency to capitalise on what he does best, exploiting his superb breath control in singing of hushed and seamless legato...[He] has both the breath control and the will to give full time and space to the long, long last lines of 'In die Ferne', and to bring to them a sense of dark despair as well as longing. He is also able and willing to dare extremes of pacing and dynamics in a spectral 'Ihr Bild'.

Entartetemusik
Their phrasing is exquisite throughout, with 'Die Taubenpost' sounding particularly pliant...Yet some of the Heine settings lack requisite weirdness...But for the sheer beauty and suppleness of voice, Goerne remains unbeatable.

Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2012
The sound quality of both CDs is superb, which only increased my frustration upon listening to them. . . In sum, while Goerne's enormous gifts and unique insights are enough to make me recommend Schwanengesang, I am doing so subject to the caveats noted above. As for the bonus CD, at least it is free.

Audiophile Audition, 5th September 2012
Goerne has his own ideas about the music and puts them forth with confidence and persuasion. That, in the end, is what sells this recording... A fine disc.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (02/2010/01/2011).



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Works Details

>Schubert, Franz : Schwanengesang, D 957
  • Performers: Christoph Eschenbach (Piano); Matthias Goerne (Baritone)
  • Running Time: 55 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1828

>Schubert, Franz : Herbst, D 945
  • Performers: Christoph Eschenbach (Piano); Matthias Goerne (Baritone)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 04/1828

>Schubert, Franz : Schwanengesang, D 957
  • Performers: Christoph Eschenbach (Piano); Matthias Goerne (Baritone)
  • Running Time: 55 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1828

>Schubert, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B flat major, D 960
  • Performer: Christoph Eschenbach (Piano)
  • Running Time: 48 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 09/1828