BaL 30.12 23 - Schubert: Winterreise

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  • Eine Alpensinfonie
    Host
    • Nov 2010
    • 20529

    BaL 30.12 23 - Schubert: Winterreise

    10.30 a.m.
    Building a Library
    Pianist Allyson Devenish chooses the ultimate recording of Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise to buy, download or stream.

    Schubert’s “Winter’s Journey” is a cycle of 24 songs across which the composer evokes a love-lorn wanderer’s trek across a desolate landscape. It is as much a psychological journey as much as a musical one, which perhaps accounts for the extremely wide range of approaches and interpretations.

    Available versions:-

    Miriam Abramowitsch, George Barth *
    Peter Anders, Günther Weißenborn *
    Alan Bennett, Albert Tiu *
    Laurens Bogtman, Felix de Nobel *
    Benjamin Bruns, Karola Theill
    Tobias Berndt, Gregor Meyer, Heidi Steger, Uwe Steger, Gewandhauschor Leipzig
    Martijn Cornet, Ragazze Quartet
    Claude Darbellay, Michèle Courvoisier *
    Raphaël Favre, André Fischer *
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Klaus Billing
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Maurizio Pollini *
    Florian Götz, Grundmann-Quartett
    Benjamin Hewat-Craw, Yuhao Guo
    Christian Hilz, Eckart Sellheim
    Hans Hotter, Michael Raucheisen *
    Hans Hotter, Heinz Schröter *
    Jorma Hynninen, Ralf Gothoni *
    Yukari Komagamine, Sachiko Miyashita *
    Tomasz Konieczny, Lech Napierala
    Joan Martín-Royo, Pierre Réach *
    Jan Martinik, David Marecek
    Peter Mattei, Lars David Nilsson (SACD)
    Daniel Ochoa, Cristian Peix, Vocalconsort Leipzig, Gregor Meyer
    Hermann Prey, Philippe Bianconi *
    Leighton Pugh, Davinia Caddy
    Sviatoslav Richter, Peter Schreier *
    Peder Severin, Dorte Kirkeskov*
    Mitsuko Shirai, Hartmut Höll, Tabea Zimmermann, Peter Härtling *
    Paul Sperry, Ian Hobson *
    Rosemary Standley, Ensemble Contraste, Johan Farjot, Arnaud Thorette
    Friedrich Suckel, Nikolay Borchev
    Steven Tharp, Janice Wenger *
    Michael Volle, Urs Liska *
    Nathaniel Watson, Michael McMahon *
    Scot Weir, Folkwang Gitarren Duo *
    Roderick Williams, Christopher Glynn

    (* = download only)
  • Eine Alpensinfonie
    Host
    • Nov 2010
    • 20529

    #2
    As I was compiling this list, I was somewhat shocked by how few recordings are available on CD, such were the numbers indicated to be download only. But as I moved on to the following week's BaL list CD versions were back in abundance. I'm unsure of the reasons for such a difference, but could it be that the record producers don't anticipate high sales for a song cycle?

    Comment

    • mikealdren
      Full Member
      • Nov 2010
      • 1144

      #3
      Seems no time since it was last covered, IIRC Christine Schäfer was the winner. None of my versions, Schäfer, Souzay or Fassbaender, is on the current list.
      Last edited by mikealdren; 27-12-23, 10:01.

      Comment

      • LMcD
        Full Member
        • Sep 2017
        • 7486

        #4
        Originally posted by mikealdren View Post
        Seems no time since it was last covered, IIRC Christine Schäfer was the winner. None of my versions, Schäfer, Souzay or Fassbaender is on the current list.
        No Schreier/Schiff either?

        Comment

        • Rolmill
          Full Member
          • Nov 2010
          • 628

          #5
          The list seems strangely short. I have eight versions on CD, seven of which are listed as still being available on CD on the Presto site, but none of which are included above! They are:

          Bostridge/Ades
          FD-K/Moore
          FD-K/Barenboim
          C Pregardien/Gees
          Gerhaher/Huber
          Goerne/Eschenbach
          Padmore/Lewis

          Of these, Gerhaher is my favourite.

          I'm pretty sure Kaufmann/Deutsch is also available still.

          Comment

          • smittims
            Full Member
            • Aug 2022
            • 3174

            #6
            I must confess that , although I love Schubert, Winterreisse is always a slog to listen to, so it was a relief when I discovered that Sch. had completed the first twelve songs before he discovered the poems for the rest; so it's quite OK to listen to half, or even less, of it.

            I think Fischer-Dieskau's early '50s HMV version with Gerald Moore is my favourite, though Britten/Pears has a special status. and I admire the Channel 4 film of Bostridge and Drake.

            Comment

            • Ein Heldenleben
              Full Member
              • Apr 2014
              • 6028

              #7
              The two versions I enjoy - Goerne with Eschenbach and Alice Coote with Drake - are both available on CD from Amazon.

              Comment

              • CallMePaul
                Full Member
                • Jan 2014
                • 737

                #8
                Originally posted by Eine Alpensinfonie View Post
                As I was compiling this list, I was somewhat shocked by how few recordings are available on CD, such were the numbers indicated to be download only. But as I moved on to the following week's BaL list CD versions were back in abundance. I'm unsure of the reasons for such a difference, but could it be that the record producers don't anticipate high sales for a song cycle?
                Presto lists no fewer than 237 versions, of which 115 are available on CD and 196 on download. Several fine versions are listed on the site that are not in the list, although I appreciate that it is a mammoth task to compile a list for this work. I am also aware that some versions come in more than one form, eg single disc/download plus multi-disc set.

                This is a favourite work of mine and I have the following:-
                • Pears/ Britten
                • Fischer-Dieskau/ Demus
                • Schäfer/ Schneider
                • Padmore/ Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)
                • Goerne/ Johnson
                • Boesch/ Martineau
                I cannot say that I am looking forward to this, as I have always been disappointed with Alyson Devenish and cannot understand why she is repeatedly asked back on the programme. Richard Wigmore would have been a far more knowledgeable guide, or maybe Natasha Loges or Laura Tunnicliffe.

                Comment

                • Darloboy
                  Full Member
                  • Jun 2019
                  • 300

                  #9
                  Originally posted by mikealdren View Post
                  Seems no time since it was last covered, IIRC Christine Schäfer was the winner. None of my versions, Schäfer, Souzay or Fassbaender, is on the current list.
                  It was actually quite a long time ago - February 2009. The reviewer was Daniel Leech-Wilkinson.

                  Some other previous BaL recommendations:

                  John Steane (April 1981): Fischer-Dieskau/Demus with Haefliger/Dähler as period/tenor choice
                  Alan Blyth (May 1996): Schreier/Schiff with Fischer-Dieskau/Barenboim as budget price/baritone choice and Haefliger/Dähler as period tenor choice again

                  Alan Blyth also presented a BaL on Winterreise in May 1986 but I don't know what his recommendations were. It's also been covered by the programme in December 1963 and January 1967. Which brings me to my usual gripe about BaL only ever covering the three song-cycles. Schubert wrote many other songs which deserve to be in any library - perhaps one day there could be a programme surveying those songs?

                  Comment

                  • Sir Velo
                    Full Member
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 3173

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Darloboy View Post

                    It was actually quite a long time ago - February 2009. The reviewer was Daniel Leech-Wilkinson.

                    Some other previous BaL recommendations:

                    Alan Blyth (May 1996): Schreier/Schiff with Fischer-Dieskau/Barenboim as budget price/baritone choice and Haefliger/Dähler as period tenor choice again
                    I remember undertaking my own winter's journey through a snow blanketed Chilterns with those artists for company on a then state of the art ipod. Even though the cycle only lasted just over an hour of a five hour hike, my memory is of how Schubert's sound world was completely evoked by that monochrome landscape. Chilling in every sense.

                    Turning to previous BAL recommendations, it is Interesting that Blyth chose Haefliger as the period choice as, within a couple of years, this version would be outclassed by the Pregardien/Staier (Warner). Artistry on an altogether different level. In particular, Staier's instrument is a joy in itself, taking us closer to Schubert's own sound world, while Pregardien's tenor gives us a more youthful, less neurotic interpretation than my previous favourite: DFD/Barenboim. One has a sense of hope on this journey rather than the fulfilment of a pre-ordained doom.

                    Other HIPP performances well worth seeking out are Padmore/Bezuidenhout (copy of an 1816 Graf) and Immerseel/van Egmond.

                    Comment

                    • gurnemanz
                      Full Member
                      • Nov 2010
                      • 7277

                      #11
                      We did our own quite thorough Winterreise favourites in 2015.

                      I've taken the liberty of copying my list from there:

                      I like all these:

                      Thomas Quasthoff -- Daniel Barenboim (movingly done on DVD)
                      Siegfried Lorenz -- Norman Shetler (under-appreciated baritone - saw him do it live about 40 years ago)
                      Roman Trekel -- Ulrich Eisenlohr (very good Naxos version - much to enjoy)
                      Peter Schreier -- András Schiff (doyen of Lied tenors)
                      Peter Pears -- Benjamin Britten (Pears on form with iffy German and special for Britten piano)
                      Peter Anders -- Michael Raucheisen (an absolute favourite recorded 1945 in Berlin with Russian tanks streets away)
                      Olaf Bär -- Geoffrey Parsons (You need Bär)
                      Nathalie Stutzmann -- Inger Södergren (essential - love her contralto)
                      Natascha Mirkovic -- Matthias Loibner accompanying on the hurdy-gurdy - (marvellously carried off)
                      Matthias Goerne -- Alfred Brendel (two greats at work)
                      Matthias Goerne -- Graham Johnson (Hyperion Complete, marginally prefer above)
                      Karl Schmitt-Walter -- Ferdinand Leitner - 1942 (I love his light baritone - admired by Fischer-Dieskau)
                      Hermann Prey -- Karl Engel (a great story-teller)
                      Henk Neven -- Hans Eijsackers (a recent hit on the BBC mag)
                      Hans Hotter -- Michael Raucheisen (Hotter, say no more)
                      Hans Hotter -- Gerald Moore (ditto + Moore)
                      Gerhard Hüsch -- Hans Udo Müller (bit staid but a classic)
                      Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau -- Gerald Moore (benchmark and my starting point so many years ago)
                      Christoph Prégardien -- wind quintet Pentaèdre (another very appealing variant)
                      Christine Schäfer -- Eric Schneider (currenly hooked on this one)
                      Christian Gerhaher -- Gerold Huber (best baritone around?)
                      Brigitte Fassbaender -- Aribert Reimann (another fine female version)

                      Not got Kaufmann yet. He was superb on the ROH stage with Helmut Deutsch in April.


                      Since then I have acquired several more (new and older) which are well worth hearing, including the above-mentioned Kaufmann/Deutsch (2014):

                      Matthias Goerne, Christoph Eschenbach, Harmonia mundi - 2014

                      Ernst Haefliger, Michio Kobayashi 1969 (on the Haefliger Edition DG box)

                      Florian Boesch, Malcolm Martineau 2017

                      Ian Bostridge, Thomas Ades 2018

                      Christoph Prégardien - Andreas Staier - Fortepiano 1825, rec 1996

                      Hans Hotter, Heinz Schröter, piano (like Ades, a composer mainly), 1947 live, Hesse Radio, Frankfurt
                      Hans Hotter, Geoffrey Parsons (Fishmongers' Hall, London on 16th March 1976.)
                      https://operadepot.com/products/schu...erreise-hotter (free download at the time) - You can't have too many Hotters.

                      Richard Tauber, Mischa Spoliansky - 1927 (12 songs only - completed in a morning with one coffee break)





                      Comment

                      • MickyD
                        Full Member
                        • Nov 2010
                        • 4559

                        #12
                        I've always been very impressed by the Prégardien/Staier - everything seems so 'right' about it.

                        Comment

                        • EnemyoftheStoat
                          Full Member
                          • Nov 2010
                          • 1121

                          #13
                          Point of order, m'lud. Isn't the cycle called just Winterreise?

                          Comment

                          • Ein Heldenleben
                            Full Member
                            • Apr 2014
                            • 6028

                            #14
                            Originally posted by EnemyoftheStoat View Post
                            Point of order, m'lud. Isn't the cycle called just Winterreise?
                            I thought in German you are supposed have the definite article as indeed is de rigeur in French but looking at the score it is indeed Winterreise.

                            Comment

                            • gurnemanz
                              Full Member
                              • Nov 2010
                              • 7277

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ein Heldenleben View Post

                              I thought in German you are supposed have the definite article as indeed is de rigeur in French but looking at the score it is indeed Winterreise.
                              That applies to abstract nouns that denote concepts, ideas, and qualities. (love = die Liebe, life = das Leben, capitalism = der Kapitalismus). That rule would not apply to Winterreise here since it refers to a specific journey and not a generalised concept. This would be "Das Reisen", ie travel in general. Also, it is poetry, where you can say what you like.

                              Comment

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