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Schubert: Winterreise / Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano; Julius Drake, piano

Album Summary

>Schubert, Franz : Winterreise, D 911/Op. 89
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

British mezzo-soprano Alice Coote is acclaimed around the world for her commanding performances in opera, concert and recital, in repertoire spanning from the Baroque to contemporary music.

A regular favorite at Wigmore Hall, she returned with Julius Drake in February 2012 to record Schubert's Winterreise.

Traditionally performed by a male singer, this song cycle is celebrated internationally at the pinnacle of the German Lieder tradition.

Offering fresh insight, and a unique perspective on the poetry, Coote unraveled this story with raw vulnerability as her heartfelt portrayal of emotional turmoil and destruction proved spectacularly engaging. With pianist Julius Drake expertly setting the tone from the outset, Coote took a kaleidoscope look at love, as she wholeheartedly plunged herself in the devastating story.

At times emotionally overwhelming, her subtlety of expression unreservedly expressed a harrowing sense of rejection and loneliness.

Truly taking the listener on a journey through the 24 poems, this landmark recording promises to be a must-have for any lover of song!

The Daily Telegraph
COOTE World renowned Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote is regarded as one of the great artists of our day. Equally famed on the great operatic stages as in concert and recital she has been named the 'superlative British Mezzo' (San Francisco Chronicle). Her performances have been described as 'breathtaking in [its] sheer conviction and subtlety of perception' (The Times) and her voice as 'beautiful, to be sure, but, more importantly, it thrills you to the marrow.

Financial Times, 6th April 2013
Alice Coote brings naked intensity to every phrase of the song-cycle.

Gramophone Magazine, June 2013
Few Winterreises enjoy Coote's colouristic range. She has a soprano's brightness in the upper reaches but welcome mezzo weight that she effectively uses to convey the abrupt arrival of a cold front...comparisons with Coote make Lehmann look bad. The ultimate compliment?

International Record Review, June 2013
Coote has introduced into her description of the traveller's plight the vocal modulations and variations that are essential in this cycle. Drake has similarly brought colour and alertness to the piano part.

MusicWeb International, 31st July 2013
[Drake] follows Alice Coote like a shadow, finding appropriate colours to underline her interpretation...I don't believe I have ever heard [Der Lindenbaum] more beautifully sung...The chill, the unease is there in her reading, but the biggest emotions are calmed down, or masked, but behind the small gestures one imagines a big black hole in the traveller's soul.

The Guardian, 11th April 2013
Her performance doesn't give up its secrets easily. The opening songs suggest a non-interventionist approach, and it's only gradually that we notice gathering complexities of emotion and meaning...this is not a study of mental disintegration, but a painstaking examination of grief that eventually subsides into exhausted resignation. Coote's pianist is Julius Drake, admirably pointillist and comfortless...a formidable experience.

The Independent, 18th May 2013
Coote's interpretation is remarkable not only for the range of timbres employed but for the way in which time stops over the course of the 24 songs in the cycle...A fearless and harrowing reading, half-kiss, half-slap.

The Irish Times, 3rd May 2013
Coote, a mezzo soprano with glint and power and a sometimes super-charged lower register, is engaged and engaging, drawing you into her numbed and chilling journey of tears and loss, fear, hope and resignation.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wigmore Hall, London (01/26/2012/01/28/2012).


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Works Details

>Schubert, Franz : Winterreise, D 911/Op. 89
  • Performers: Alice Coote (Mezzo-soprano); Julius Drake (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London (01/26/2012/01/28/2012)
  • Running Time: 73 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1827