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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PITY THERE'S NO SIX-STAR RATING, 10 Dec 2000
This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
I heard this man on the radio singing 'An Die Musik' and had to stop the car to listen. He is extraordinary. Does it take an Englishman to sing Schubert with more sublimlity that any vocalist you have ever heard before? Probably! This rtecording will be a revelation to you, too. In fact, prior to Ian Bostridge, Schubert lieder carried scant interest for me: they often seemed to be somehow fossilised remnants, oversentimentalised, twee and belonging to an antique era. However Bostridge brings a sense of freshness and at an times achingly beautiful lyricism to these songs that reinvents them. It is the way he can deliver a turn of phrase with just the right nuance that reveals the underlying psychological dynamism Schubrt himself probably had in mind when composing the music to accompany the lyrics. Savour the jauntiness of An Sylvia, which makes other performers sound leaden. Or enter into the mysterious profundity of 'Litany for All Souls' Day', which is unbearably rapt and moving. Buy this CD!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALMOST TOO BEAUTIFUL, 10 Oct 2002
By 
J. C. Bailey (East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
These are some of the best known songs by the greatest songwriter of all time, and Bostridge brings his usual beautiful tone and phrasing to each one of them. For a new listener to classical songs wanting an overview of Schubert's 500 or more "lieder" (famous romantic poems set to original music), Bostridge's warm phrasing, his soft but accurate German, and the fine playing of accompanist Julius Drake, will make this recital perfect.
At this level of talent and artistry, it is almost inexcusable to indulge in nitpicking, but listeners who are already familiar with recitals by the German masters may find some of these tenor interpretations just too lyrical. Take the two grim Gothic fantasies as the clearest example: "Der Zwerg" depicts a beautiful young queen being slowly strangled and dumped into the sea by a twisted and deformed court jester who has been driven mad by jealousy for her affections. "Erlkonig" tells of a man racing through the forest on horseback unaware that the soul of the young son in his arms is being stolen away by the phantom Forest King. These are hideous images, and I am not completely convinced that Bostridge (for all his staggering talent and discipline) has yet developed the subtle dramatic judgement that they demand - the great Fischer-Dieskau has confirmed that in this regard the lied is infinitely more demanding than opera.
Thus in Der Zwerg, the sustained beauty of Bostridge's singing gives us few cues that we are listening to anything radically different from the ruminations on love, art, nature and loss that make up the bulk of the album. And yet in Erlkonig (a specially demanding piece that requires the singer to represent a narrator and three different characters), he overshoots in the opposite direction - he gives a performance of chilling power and dramatic range, but only at the expense of the subtlety and the overarching unity of style and voice that should set even the most dramatic art-song apart from opera. (The singer of a narrative song is required to be a story-teller, not an actor).

These quibbles needed explaining, but they will be of minor importance to anyone but a Teutonic purist. Bostridge's glorious bel canto voice, already one of the brightest lights in Britain's music industry, may at present be less than perfectly matched to the classical German art-song. However, few exponents of the lied have reached musical maturity before middle age, and Bostridge (whose cover photo incidentally bears a striking resemblance to the great French baritone of the post-war years, Gerard Souzay) has many years in which to develop this highly specialised art. More to the point, this is a fine album in its own right, and one that will sound better to most British and American ears than the gruffer and more clipped renditions of the great German baritones.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing music, amazing voice..., 11 May 2007
By 
This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
"A-men" to John Little for complaining about the lack of a 6-star rating. This is a CD of the best songs ever written for anybody by anybody, ever, sung by the best interpreter of the best songs ever written for anybody by anybody, ever.

Incredibly beautifully, carefully, and thoughtfully performed - I take my hat off to you, Mr. Bostridge.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't agree more!!, 10 Dec 2008
By 
martin jones (Shropshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
There are those people who simply do not like Bostridge's voice and/or his approach to Lieder but don't include me among them! He has obviously given a great deal of thought to both the music and words and despite what J C Bailey has said I do not find them short of characterisation at all. Julius Drake is all that an accompanist should be, although "accompanist" is really the wrong word: it implies a subservient role, and the pianist in Schubert Lieder is - or should be - an equal partner with the singer (as Drake is here).

This CD can be thoroughly recommended to both the long-standing Schubert aficionado and someone coming to his lieder for the first time. For the latter: welcome to a wonderful new world of musical experience! You will never regret entering into it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle perfection, 26 Jun 2009
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Per Arne Rudberg "P-A Rudberg" (Vallentuna, Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
This is a recording that is opening up new doors to Schubert and lieder singing/playing. Both Bostridge and Drake show that they have understood these songs on a deeper plane.
If you are used to the more "hammering" interpretations from some German iconic lieder singers this recording requires that you tune in your ear on the more subtle nuances. There are small accents and tiny changes in the flow that reveils much of the secrets in these songs.
Ian Bostridge is singing with ease and it's a pure delight to hear how he treats every single letter.
Julius Drake is a genius at the piano. For me he has become the ideal Schubert pianist. He can truly play feelings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat, 24 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
I haven't listened to much lieder and this is my first purchase. I really love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best recordings of Schubert lieder available, 14 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Schubert: Lieder (MP3 Download)
One of the best recordings of Schubert Lieder I have ever heard and certainly one for any lover of this genre. I cannot recommend this recording enough. Bostridge's voice is clear, exciting, controlled and sensitive. He must rank as one of the finest contemporary English tenors. Julius Drake's accompaniment matches Bostridge's voice beautifully. Quite often such recordings are only remembered because of the tenor's performance: in this case I applaud Drake's sensitivity and understanding of Schubert. If I could give this recording 10 stars I would.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic CD, 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Schubert Lieder (Audio CD)
This is one of the loveliest CDs I have bought. Ian Bostridge has a wonderful voice and I love the simplicity of these beautiful Schubert Lieder. Thoroughly recommend it.
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Schubert Lieder by Franz Schubert (Audio CD - 1998)
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