10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Schubert's sublime song-cycle,
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This review is from: Schubert: Winterreise (DG The Originals) (Audio CD)
I am in full agreement with what the other three, five-star reviewers say but aim to offer a fresh perspective.
Schubert is the absolute master of the song-cycle and this represents Schubert at his very best.
Most of the songs, as befits the seasonal setting and lost love, portray a beautiful but haunting melancholy yet a few offer hope, comfort and promise. There are 24 songs in all, lasting a total of 73 minutes, with numbers: 1 Gute Nacht (Good Night), 5 Der Lindenbaum (The Lime Tree), 8 Ruckblick (Retrospect), 20 Der Wegweiser (The Signpost), 21 Das Wirtshaus (The Inn) and 22 Mat (Courage) being the most memorable. Incidentally there is a wonderful choral version of Der Lindenbaum, at a slightly faster tempo, the best version of this song that I have ever heard, on the triple CD collection: Romantic Choral Music (see my other reviews).
On this CD Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is outstanding; not only is his performance worthy of just about every superlative, his diction is first rate and encourages one to master the German. The performance by Jorg Demus, on piano, is of the same calibre and the songs offer fairly lengthy piano introductions and plenty of scope for him to demonstrate his skills between the stanzas of Wilhelm Muller's poetry. This combination of baritone and pianist is unlikely ever to be bettered.
The words to each song are included, side by side, in the booklet in German, English and French.
To crown it all, this is a perfect recording - I cannot recommend it too highly.