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Schubert: Favorite Lieder / Gerard Souzay, Dalton Baldwin

Schubert / Souzay / Baldwin
Release Date: 07/27/2010 
Label:  Newton Classics   Catalog #: 8802012   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard SouzayDalton Baldwin
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUBERT Die schöne Mullerin. Der Wanderer I & II. Auf der Bruck. Nacht und Träume. An Sylvia. Die Forelle. Der Zwerg. Erlkönig. Heidenröslein. Dithyrambe. Die Liebe hat gelogen. Der Doppelgänger. Frühlingsglaube. Der Schiffer. Der Wanderer. Wandrers Nachtlied II. Der Tod und das Mädchen. Ganymed. Im Abendrot. Der Musensohn. Normans Gesang. Erster Verlust. An die Musik Gérard Souzay (bar); Dalton Baldwin (pn) NEWTON 8802012 (2 CDs: 133:40)


Although it’s never Read more stated in the booklet for this rerelease, Gerard Souzay (1918–2004) undertook a concentrated study of Lieder with Lotte Lehmann. This was some years after having first trained at the Paris Conservatory with Vanni-Marcoux and Claire Croiza, then later with Pierre Bernac. If his voice’s ease of production bears the hallmark of Conservatory teaching, it is Lehmann that informs Souzay’s understanding of Schubertian style. The combination of intrinsic beauty of tone, effortless production, and deep musical understanding prove irresistible in this music. Souzay has been equaled on occasion, notably by Gerhard Hüsch and the young Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, but in my opinion he has never been surpassed.


Some have disagreed with such an assessment as this—and from opposing viewpoints. French critic Roland Barthes took the baritone to task for imposing unnecessary emotionalism on the text of songs through exaggerated phonetics, but I confess to finding none of this despite numerous LP rehearings. To the other side, across the Channel, a few British critics over the years have pigeonholed Souzay as a beautiful singer who sacrificed the drama in the music he sang, so as not to interfere with the clarity of the musical line, and the emission of tone. This dichotomy—dramatic singers vs. musical singers—lacks nuance. Souzay worked hard to comprehend and interpret the songs he performed, regardless of language, and whatever flaws he possessed, I admit to not finding a single instance where he sacrificed drama in these songs to unstrained vocal production. For all that I dearly love my Lieder recordings of Elena Gerhardt and especially Karl Erb, beauty does not preclude dramatic truth.


On the contrary: There are instances where several of Schubert’s songs clearly gain from being sung by a honeyed voice with no signs of strain. The easy lift of the tone in the melodic line in “Des Müllers Blumen” from Die schöne Müllerin furnishes one example. Certainly it’s possible to sing it insightfully with an audible degree of exertion, but just as surely that gets in the way of the pastoral image Schubert means to convey. “Many small flowers grow by the brook,” states the text, and we shouldn’t instead be paying attention to the miller wheezing as he clambers down to view them. Similarly, the trout in Die Forelle should dart swiftly, with great agility; the gentle breezes in Frühlingsglaube should stir lightly. At such times, one appreciates the lightness in turn of Souzay’s method. It never gets in the way of these images, but furnishes a medium that contributes to their realization.


Elsewhere Schubert requires something less static, and Souzay obliges. “Still ist die Nacht,” the narrator proclaims at the start of Der Doppelgänger , and the baritone emphasizes the “sh” of the start, as though to quiet us, and the final “t,” like a latch closing shut. As we hear that his beloved once lived in the house before us, a darker quality drifts through Souzay’s voice, not unlike the wraith that dogs his steps. The opening phrase of “Die Liebe hat gelogen” is sung softly—beautifully, again, but drained of vibrato, with a drag upwards on “Sorge” and “schwer” in the second phrase: a fine way of depicting a line that concerns sorrow’s oppression. The four voices of Erlkönig are subtly distinct, but memorable; the best part is probably Death’s lines, beginning “Ich liebe dich,” like a skull-splitting grin across a deathshead, never losing its sense of exquisite delight even as we are told the child will be taken if necessary by force. I’ve heard many versions of the song over the years; who hasn’t? But this one has never lost its appeal, where others that tried for greater vividness have seemed stagy and constrained with time. Combine all of this with the kind of expert accompaniment that Dalton Baldwin regularly provided to Souzay, and the clear, well-balanced sound that both EMI and Philips routinely gave him, and you have a winner of an album.


With one unfortunate exception. Regrettably, whoever ordered the contents of the disc titled Favorite Lieder for Newton Classics (and no credits are given) did nobody any favors. The list on the CD cover, in the booklet, and in the song translations online that the company thoughtfully provides, is seriously out of order. It also includes one song, Der Wanderer , D 493, twice, when in fact Rastlose Liebe is hiding behind that second listing. For those who buy the set, here are the cuts as described:


Der Wanderer , D 493


Auf der Bruck


Nacht und Träume


An Sylvia


Die Forelle


Der Zwerg


Erlkönig


Heidenröslein


Dithyrambe


Die Liebe hat gelogen


Der Doppelgänger , D 957


Frühlingsglaube


Der Schiffer


Wandrers Nachtlied II


Der Wanderer , D 493


Der Tod und das Mädchen


Ganymed


Im Abendrot


Der Musensohn


Normans Gesang


Erster Verlust


An die Musik


This is what you actually get:


Auf der Bruck


An Sylvia


Die Forelle


Der Zwerg


Heidenröslein


Dithyrambe


Die Liebe hat gelogen


Der Doppelgänger, D 957


Frühlingsglaube


Der Schiffer


Erlkönig


Nacht und Träume


Der Wanderer, D 493


Wandrers Nachtlied II


Rastlose Liebe, D 138


Der Tod und das Mädchen


Ganymed


Im Abendrot


Der Musensohn


Normans Gesang


Erster Verlust


An die Musik


It’s a nuisance. The transfers of the original discs recorded between 1961 and 1967, on the other hand, are extremely well handled. They are clear, with good equalization, and (I suspect) taken from the original analog tapes.


In short, scrambled works to one side, this is a fine album, and an effective tribute to one of the great recitalists of the 20th century.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Die schöne Müllerin, D 795/Op. 25 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1964 
Length: 60 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2.
Der Wanderer, D 493/Op. 4 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
3.
Auf der Bruck, D 853 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
4.
Nacht und Träume, D 827 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
5.
An Sylvia, D 891/Op. 106 no 4 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
6.
Die Forelle, D 550 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7.
Der Zwerg, D 771/Op. 22 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822-1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
8.
Der Erlkönig, D 328 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
9.
Heidenröslein, D 257/Op. 3 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
10.
Dithyrambe, D 801/Op. 60 no 2 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
11.
Die Liebe hat gelogen, D 751/Op. 23 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
12.
Schwanengesang, D 957: no 13, Der Doppelgänger by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
13.
Frühlingsglaube, D 686/Op. 20 no 2 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
14.
Wandrers Nachtlied, D 768/Op. 96 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1961 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
15.
Der Tod und das Mädchen, D 531/Op. 7 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
16.
Ganymed, D 544/Op. 19 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
17.
Im Abendrot, D 799 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824-1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
18.
Der Musensohn, D 764/Op. 92 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
19.
Normans Gesang, D 846/Op. 52 no 5 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
20.
Erster Verlust, D 226/Op. 5 no 4 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dalton Baldwin (Piano), Gérard Souzay ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
21.
An die Musik, D 547 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Gérard Souzay (), Dalton Baldwin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1967 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 

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