7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Deeply felt, revealing Schubert from two thoughtful probing artists,
This review is from: Winterreise/Staier (Audio CD)
As you will see from the title, I couldn't disagree more with my fellow reviewer - healthy debate is a good thing! The self-aggrandisement of which he/she or she accuses the artists is the last thing I've ever seen or heard from them, in numerous live concerts (including Winterreise) as well as on disc. Pregardien in particular couldn't be more personally diffident. They both strive to serve the music, they think through what they do from scratch, it isn't necessarily what others do and by the time they make a disc they have thoroughly tested their interpretation live. Of course you don't have to like it, but the integrity is impeccable. You won't like this recording unless you think that Schubert set out to sear nerves when he wrote the music. I think he did and I find this performance a revelation. Pregardien's heartfelt interpretation of the text is superb. The balance of voice and fortepiano means that the accompanist is unchained, and free to express the full range of Schubert's effects. This is a revelation in itself - almost all accompanists seem to hold back in comparison (notable exceptions are Britten and Reimann, who manage to be bold and free despite their larger voiced instruments). And Pregardien and Staier's ensemble (emotional as well as technical) as a genuine chamber group couldn't be bettered. One of my favourite Winterreise recordings.