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Schubert: Winterreise

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Audio CD, April 1, 2014
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Frequently Bought Together

Schubert: Winterreise + Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession + Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin, Winterreise & Schwanengesang [3CDs + DVD]
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Product Details

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (April 1, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B00H3TZPTM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,366 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD
A long review would be superfluous; this recording is every bit as good as we Kaufmann admirers had predicted - and in some ways better, as in addition to the power, beauty and colourific variety of his supple tenor, the singer has brought a new subtlety and insight to his interpretation of this most challenging of song cycles. It is also true that his long-time accompanist, Helmut Deutsch, seems inspired by their partnership to produce pianism of the utmost delicacy and control.

I recently reviewed another equally recommendable recording from Florian Boesch. His light but powerful baritone and Kaufmann's dark-hued tenor are not so very different, although obviously Boesch uses lower transpositions and the voice that Kaufmann has always most resembled is that of his predecessor Jon Vickers, who also recorded these songs but after so much Wagner singing, did not have the advantage of Kaufmann's flexibility. The tenor voice remains the ideal medium for this cycle, otherwise the piano, which spends so much time down in the deeper reaches of the instrument, can sound a tad muddy and the turbulent brook is transformed into oceanic depths.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Juan Antonio Muñoz on April 1, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Jonas Kaufmann in “Winterreise”: Relentlessly seeking rest

“Winterreise” (D 911), Franz Schubert’s cycle (1797-1828) on poems by Wilhelm Müller, is a musical drama that can be read as the story of a young man, desperate on account of a lost love who travels through a winter landscape, and also as the discovery of the desolation of a man, expressed in the description of the climate, finding the ultimate realities. It is, therefore, a cycle about death, perceived as longing and rest. Death, in this case, replaces what has been lost; the further the young man distances himself from his love, the further he distances himself from his life. A really deep sea in 24 songs; an open sea of feeling.

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann addresses this huge work from emotion and his wager renews each Lied for our time and works as catharsis. It purifies, in a sense. His many nuanced voice, to which he confers abysmal meanings, builds an environment that is essentially meditative and dreamlike, as if the “moment” in which it is produced were the one which precedes death, in which a whole life or the most important things in it are recapitulated. He insists on solitude and in the option to finish once for all.

“Gute nacht” (Good night) is the first poem and it begins with the word “Fremd”, stranger, because as such we come into the world and into love. Kaufmann reveals right from the start the state of dejection of the wanderer, whom he will move through pain and fury, showing the understandable weakness of his pleas, as in “Die Wetterfahne” (The Weather-vane): Was fragen sie nach meinen Schmerzen? (Why should you worry about my suffering?).
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Abert on February 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD
There has been for long quite a tradition that of the two W. Muller song cycles Winterreise and Die Schone Mullerin that the former was the ‘baritone’s pet’. Apart from the fact that the song cycle premiered in a ‘baritone’ version, the character and colouring of the cycle have much to commend it to baritone or baritonal voices.
Throughout the 20th century, most of the illustrious interpretors of this work were baritones rather than tenors: Hermann Prey, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hans Hotter, and if, in the rarer cases, sung by women, mezzo-sopranos and contraltos.
The 20th century lieder expert Erik Werba advocated that lieder be sung whatever key that suit the singers most. Transpositions are freely allowed. Inevitably, baritones gradually got a quasi-monopoly of this song cycle over tenors.
While there are a number of outstanding tenor interpretors of this cycle (C. Pregardien, W. Gura, P. Schreier, to name but three), they have been some what ‘shaded’ behind the two great baritones; Prey and Fischer-Dieskau.
When tenor Jonas Kaufmann announced that he and his pianistic partner Helmut Deutsch will release this cycle, it really caused quite a stir in this relatively dwindling field of lieder. This couple have been performing this cycle at international festivals for over one decade. Indeed, back in 2002, the performance by Kaufmann and Deutsch caught the ears of The Guardian's critic, who rightly predicted that Kaufmann would, in due course, excel in this song cycle.
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