Notes and Editorial Reviews
Harmonia Mundi now owns the two best Die schöne Müllerin recordings currently available--a tenor version by Werner Güra and Jan Schultsz from 1999 (type Q2284 in Search Reviews), and this new traversal by baritone Matthias Goerne and his piano partner Christoph Eschenbach (best-known as a much-lauded soloist and conductor). Goerne delivers extraordinarily sensitive performances that (unlike in an earlier, 2002 effort for Decca) find ideal tempos, fitting inflections, and artful phrasing that bring us touchingly close to the physical images and scenarios, the self-dialogs, and, importantly, to the miller's intensely-felt emotional character and its transformation from the optimism of
the early songs to the despair and sad resignation of the latter.
Goerne's tone is lovely, warmly resonant, yet with a vibrant, focused center that leaves no doubt about intonation (Der Jäger; Die liebe Farbe) or interpretive emphasis (Eifersucht und Stolz). He's truly at home with this material as he leads us effortlessly but with purpose through the 20 songs; Eschenbach makes his presence known, especially when punctuating or embellishing the singer's more emphatic expressions (Am Feierabend; Die böse Farbe), but also when supplying the texture and color for the more tender and acutely emotional songs (Tränenregen).
We realize the specialness of these performances in such moments as the marvelously understated "Ungeduld"--on the part of both singer and pianist--that ideally conveys the song's subject through its just-under-the-surface, barely restrained "impatience"; or in the affecting, perfectly-scaled Der Neugierige, Morgengruß, and Danksagung an den Bach, Goerne's tributes to sheer melodic beauty. Lovers of Schubert and song and intelligent, artful singing shouldn't miss this recording, complemented by fine studio sound and insightful, informative notes. Highly recommended.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Die schöne Müllerin, D 795/Op. 25 by Franz Schubert
Matthias Goerne (Baritone),
Christoph Eschenbach (Piano)
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria
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