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Schubert: Winterreise Import
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What does Padmore have going for him? First, a rising star at the piano. Paul Lewis is already renowned in Britain; he's cut from the same classical cloth as his mentor, Alfred Brendel, himself a noted lieder accompanist. Right off, one notices that Lewis is listening to his singer and making small expressive adjustments in phrasing. That's a big plus -- too many celebrity accompanists forge ahead without a flexible regard for the vocal line. As for Padmore himself, he's sensitive and musical. Schubert wrote Winterreise for a light tenor, yet over the years the tragic import of the cycle has drawn heavier voices to it. One must admit that when he sings loud or tries to be forceful, Padmore's vocal lightness lets him down. Soft and poignant is his natural domain, as another previous reviewer notes. Lewis remains too reticent, no doubt to be in harmony with Padmore. Winterreise asks for a passionate cry from the heart, and it's not quite there.
The same reviewer says, and I agree, that this Winterreise doesn't build; Padmore's style remains essentially the same from beginning to end. Bostridge outdoes him in variety and intensity of expression. For real dramatic impact, one must turn to tenors on the order of Peter Pears and Peter Schreier, or if you want a voice as light as Padmore's, the excellent German, Werner Gura. This CD was greeted like the second coming in Britain, but I'm by no means convinced.
I've just listened to them side by side and I find this recording to be absolutely delicious. Not better than Dieskau's but not dramatically worse as some reviewers might have you think.
I would say if you're only going to own one of Shubert's Winterreise then the first Fischer-Dieskau, with Gerald Moore offers a powerful portrayal from the great baritone. However, Padmore is a tenor par excellence and there's a sweetness to his rendition of this lieder that's delightful.
Buy this or any of the other two with confidence. They are all delightful in their own right.
One of my favorite classical singers recording a piece I always find difficult and gloomy - but critics had praised him to the skies so much that I got intrigued and searched for this with greatest interest. After all, even my Bible ("Gramophone") heralded this recording like second coming, no doubt pleased that their own british singer tackled german Lieder and survived without embarrassment.
So I went for it,bought it and was pleasantly surprised because Padmore has such nice voice that I could listen him singing anything,including my old Nemesis "Winterreise". Maybe its because I am already familiar with the piece (how much I tortured myself with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, I really suffered with that one) or because I personally find tenor voice in combination with piano irresistible, who knows? I actually dived into classical music through counter-tenors (Michael Chance was my first discovery) so probably I have this affinity for high male voice. Padmore's german is surprisingly good and he acts just the way it was supposed to be - "Winterreise" is a terribly depressing story with main character walking through the snow heartbroken, big drama, I could really slap him to his senses - and I have to mention very good piano playing by justly celebrated Paul Lewis whom I noticed through Beethoven recordings years ago,they are actually a duet more than anything else.
Than again,no matter how I look at this from left,right and bellow,its still "Winterreise" and therefore not something I put up to listen first thing in the morning. I get depressed just by thinking about it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is most unfortunate that Mr Padmore seems to have no grasp of the German language at all. His performance is an utter failure when it comes to pronunciation. Read morePublished on July 24, 2012 by J Pabst
What on earth will Alfred Brendel say when he hears this? Paul Lewis plays like a totally ignorant musically illiterate beginner. Read morePublished on January 8, 2010 by Michael Lorenz
Save your money and get a recording by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Mr. Padmore is simply better suited for repertoire from the Baroque.Published on November 23, 2009 by Broadway Joe