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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Below par?, 19 Jan 2011
A. McGuire "Alec McGuire" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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Matthias Goerne has long shown himself to be a superb interpreter of lied in general and Schubert in particular, and his skill is fully evident in this CD. Yet the result doesn't delight this listener quite as much as it used to.
Goerne, is like all of us, getting older, and it is a feature of many baritones that over time their tessitura becomes closer and closer to a bass; indeed, it is arguable that Goerne now is a bass and not even a bass-baritone. His upper range is less flexible and expressive than it used to be. He exercises every bit as much control as he ever did, and his singing is as carefully considered as always, but his top range no longer delivers the goods quite so well.
Compare his earlier version of Die Schone Mullerin Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin with his more recent recording Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin - Matthias Goerne / Christoph Eschenbach (Schubert Edition Vol.3) and this becomes particularly evident.
On the other hand, the power and force of his bass register is now outstanding. Perhaps he needs to start reconsidering his approach.
The main weaknesses of this recording, however, are elsewhere. First, there is Alexander Schmalcz's accompaniment, which while competent and workman-like rarely raises itself above that level, and, secondly, the close-miking which makes Goerne's intake of breath far too audible (it's present on some of his earlier recordings, but never to this degree) and at times positively distracting.
Goerne's skill still makes this CD worth listening to, but it can't be counted as one of his best recordings. Even Homer nods.
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Schubert: Nacht und Träume
Schubert: Nacht und Träume by Matthias Goerne and Alexander Schmalcz
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