...Back in 1942 one reacts over and over again to the lightness and beauty; at times [Hotter] sounds uncannily like Fischer-Dieskau – and there can be no higher praise. His enunciation is beyond reproach. His way with words was always his hallmark and he always gives the impression that the singing comes from within - as the only natural way of expressing the composer’s ideas.
Basically his concept is very similar to the 1955 version [w. Gerald Moore] though possibly a mite more spontaneous. He had probably been singing the cycle for years before he set it down. Every now and then I have a feeling that he is still discovering things and wants to savour certain moments. Gute Nacht, very slow, almost hesitant, is a fine exampleRead more and that hesitation – which is more an expressive device than any kind of uncertainty – can be heard elsewhere too, not least in the achingly beautiful reading of Das Wirtshaus. Generally speaking he opts for slower tempos in the earlier songs in 1942 whereas in 1955 some of the later songs are more expansive. It took me some time to adjust to some of these slow speeds, especially since I had recently listened to Peter Anders’ recording from 1948 on an old Acanta LP. This version, which I hadn’t listened to for many years, has many virtues. It is fairly swift, more outgoing and there is a feeling of relentlessness, impatience even, and being sung by a tenor it is brighter and reflecting a young man’s journey. I can’t help feeling that it is quite refreshing sometimes, though Hotter and F-D peer deeper... Most readers will, I am sure, have their own favourites but there is always room for alternative readings and Hans Hotter in 1942 will no doubt belong in a select company of Desert Island recordings of this cycle. His accompanist is the ever-reliable Michael Raucheisen, who has been one of the most important champions of German lieder... [T]hose who know Hotter primarily from his late Wagner recordings will be surprised to find so much lyrical beauty from this monumental voice.
-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International Read less
Works on This Recording
Winterreise, D 911/Op. 89by Franz Schubert
Michael Raucheisen (Piano),
Hans Hotter (Baritone)
Period: Romantic Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 1942 Venue: Berlin Length: 76 Minutes 20 Secs. Language: German