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Schubert: Romantic Poets, Vol. 4 CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Jun. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B001AE4PFG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,859 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amphiaraos D.166 - Gebet während der Schlacht D.171 - Die Wallfahrt D.778a - Das Abendrot Op.173 n°6 D.627 - Greisengesang Op.60 n°1 D.778 - Ihr Grab D.736 - Totengräbers Heimweh D.842... / Florian Boesch, Baryton - Burkhard Kehring, piano

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had not heard Florian Boesch before listening to this disc and I am very impressed. Rather than being yet another German baritone with that throaty, constricted sound so beloved of some Lieder cognoscenti, this is a properly produced and registered voice with resonance and an ease of emission which is a delight to the ear. Boesch reminds me most of a darker-voiced Simon Keenlyside in his virile timbre and clean legato - and his diction is wonderful without being over-emphatic. Having recently complained in a recent review about Bo Skovhus's too frequent resorting to falsetto and crooning, I am pleased to note that Boesch manages delicacy and gentleness of utterance by properly scaling down his voice without recourse to self-conscious tricks. This is a voice to watch as it matures; he is only 34, is already an accomplished Lieder singer and is already singing major operatic roles in Mozart as he has the heft and presence to do so and must surely progress on to bigger-voiced roles. He takes a few risks, descending to E and D sharp like a bass - just making it! - and really opening up on climaxes without sounding gross or grandstanding.

Naxos has done very well to sign him up for this programme of more obscure Schubert songs; their variety requires him to encompass a wide range of moods from gruff soldier, to pious supplicant, to ecstatic Nature-worshipper to desperate lover - and he is up to those demands, ensuring that his tone and colour are subtly graded to reflect the emotional ambience.

Boesch is fortunate to have an excellent accompanist in Burkhard Kehring and I am delighted to see that texts are available online, as most of us will be largely unfamiliar with the songs here. I knew only "Das Abendrot" and "Im Walde".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9af28960) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x999fecc8) out of 5 stars Exploring the Schubert Songs -- Romantic Poets 10 Sept. 2008
By Robin Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
During his short life, Franz Schubert (1797 -- 1828) composed over 700 lieder, virtually creating the genre of the art song. Whether classical or popular, songs tend to be short, ephemeral creations. They also tend to vary widely in quality. Of Schubert's large output, only a relatively small number of songs regularly appear on CD anthologies or in recitals. The opportunity for the nonspecialist to explore Schubert's songs in depth is rare indeed. I have been enjoying the ongoing complete Schubert song cycle on the budget-priced Naxos label. The series is organized by the pianist Ulrich Eisenlohr and, in addition to presenting Schubert's song output, offers the listener exposure to many young rising singers. A complete cycle of the Schubert songs featuring world-class singers is also available on Hyperion but at a price of at least twice that of each Naxos disk.

The Naxos series is arranged by the poets that Schubert set. This CD is the fourth of a group that Naxos describes as the "Romantic poets". It features baritone Florian Boesch, who has appeared in operas by Mozart and Haydn, among others. Boesch brings a deep, growling, but flexible voice to these Schubert songs. Burkhard Kehring, rather than Eisenlohr, accompanies Boesch on the piano. Kehring also performed on a recording of Schubert settings of poems by his friend Johann Mayrhoffer as part of the Naxos series.

The fourteen songs on this CD are for the most part rarities. Lovers of Schubert will find joy in hearing these songs and in finding unfamiliar gems. The songs cover a variety of styles and stages in Schubert's short life. When the teenage Schubert started to compose songs, he began with the form of the ballad. This CD includes two ballads Schubert set in his late teens to texts by his near-contemporary Theodor Koerner (1791 -- 1813) The earlier of the two, "Amphiaros," D. 166 relates a Greek myth from the War against Thebes which Schubert sets to a driving piano accompaniment and to a vocal line of great force. The other early Koerner setting, "Father I cry to you", D. 171. is a more intimate work, setting out a soldier's fear in the face of battle.

The CD juxtaposes two late Schubert songs which as Eisenlohr observes in his liner notes, show the two sides of the Romantic movement. The song, "Gravediggers Longing" D. 842, to a text by one Jakob Nikolaus Craiger (1797 --1855), is a somber, philosophical poem about the sadness and restlesness of life ending in the peace of death. But this lament is followed on the CD by Schubert's setting of "In the Forest" D. 708 to a text by Fredrich Schlegel (1772-1829) which in Schubert's setting moves powerfully and lyrically in a setting of pantheism and love of life and nature.

Other songs on the CD explore these poles of the romantic temperament. The short song "The Pilgrimage" D. 778A, sets a text by Frederich Ruckert (1788 -1866) in a manner suggesting world-weariness and the need for spiritual redemption. The song "Her grave" D. 736, sets a text by Karl Englehardt that mourns the death of a beloved. One of the finest songs on this CD is "A mother's funeral song", D.616, poet unknown, which Schubert composed at the time his own mother died.

The more ecstatic character of romanticism is suggested by Schubert's settings of "The Glow of Sunset", D. 627 by Aloys Schreiber and by "The Boatman" D. 694 by Friedrich von Schlegel in which the singer turns lusty eyes to a young maiden on shore. Schubert's setting of "Unbounded Love" D.854 is a longer romantic exploration of the joy of life and the unity of creation. Schubert's setting of a poem by Fredrich von Schlegel's brother, August, "Melodies of Life" D. 395 also sets a tone of affirmation.

Two songs on the CD do not fit neatly into either model discussed above. Schubert's setting of "The Madonna" D. 623, with a text by Schreiber, is a lilting religious meditation inspired by a painting of the Virgin Mary. And Schubert's setting of a poem called "A Song of Old Age" by Ruckert has, alas, a personal meaning for me as the singer contrasts the frailty of his advancing years with the passion that still fires his heart.

Ulrich Eisenlohr wrote the liner notes for this CD. The texts of the songs are not included, but both texts and translations are readily accessible on the Naxos website.

Robin Friedman
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x999ffa90) out of 5 stars A baritone of real quality in an unusual programme 10 Jun. 2012
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had not heard Florian Boesch before listening to this disc and I am very impressed. Rather than being yet another German baritone with that throaty, constricted sound so beloved of some Lieder cognoscenti, this is a properly produced and registered voice with resonance and an ease of emission which is a delight to the ear. Boesch reminds me most of a darker-voiced Simon Keenlyside in his virile timbre and clean legato - and his diction is wonderful without being over-emphatic. Having recently complained in a recent review about Bo Skovhus's too frequent resorting to falsetto and crooning, I am pleased to note that Boesch manages delicacy and gentleness of utterance by properly scaling down his voice without recourse to self-conscious tricks. This is a voice to watch as it matures; he is only 34, is already an accomplished Lieder singer and is already singing major operatic roles in Mozart as he has the heft and presence to do so and must surely progress on to bigger-voiced roles. He takes a few risks, descending to E and D sharp like a bass - just making it! - and really opening up on climaxes without sounding gross or grandstanding.

Naxos has done very well to sign him up for this programme of more obscure Schubert songs; their variety requires him to encompass a wide range of moods from gruff soldier, to pious supplicant, to ecstatic Nature-worshipper to desperate lover - and he is up to those demands, ensuring that his tone and colour are subtly graded to reflect the emotional ambience.

Boesch is fortunate to have an excellent accompanist in Burkhard Kehring and I am delighted to see that texts are available online, as most of us will be largely unfamiliar with the songs here. I knew only "Das Abendrot" and "Im Walde". My only reason for deducting a star is that not all the songs here are of the highest quality, despite receiving the finest advocacy from Boesch. The opening youthful Lied is rather diffuse and rambling despite some striking moments and not every one displays Schubert's melodic genius, although of course all are well-crafted, often utilising those particularly Schubertian tricks such as swift alternation between the major and minor and deliberate vagueness about where the tonality of a piece resides. As ever, one is struck by the invention and subtlety of the piano's part in telling a complementary or even another story alongside the singer.

This is the finest issue in this Naxos Schubert series so far and well worth the attention of any lover of Lieder and/or fine voices.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x999ffe74) out of 5 stars Boesch beautifully delivers a rather obscure but rewarding program 3 Jun. 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Looking back over Naxos' now completed Schubert project, I can't say that I encountered a better participant than the Austrian baritone Florian Boesch. His baritone has the amber gleam and lyrical flow of Matthias Goerne's but without the gloom. His general style is straightforward but musical; he pays particular attention to the poetry, which I am grateful for. This is disc 27 in the series and the fourth devoted to assorted Romantic poets; the predominant tne is moody and fervent. Necessarily not every song can be familiar - in fact, the vast majority of the program is obscure - so it's good to have a thoughtful singer to make each one sound personal. Dare I say it, Boesch is better at communicating an unknown lied than Fischer-Dieskau, who tended to punch them out using his patented style.

Boesch, who has steadily risen in stature over the past decade, now sings at the most elite venues and with the best accompanists, namely the wonderful Malcolm Martineau. The pianist here is Burkhard Kehring, who strikes me as being good without being inspiring; much of the time he's rather generic. The program contains enough songs written later than D. 700 so that the musical level is high, but you can tell why these obscure songs are obscure - their melodies are not very memorable compared to the great ones. Still, no one but Schubert could have written them; his spirit suffuses everything, and Boesch captures its sensitivity, mystery, and yearning quite beautifully.

Here's the entire program:

Schubert:

Amphiaraos D166 (Komer)

Gebet während der Schlacht D171 (Körner)

Die Wallfahrt D778A (Rückert)

Das Abendrot D627 (Schreiber)

Greisengesang, D778

Ihr Grab D736 (Engelhardt)

Totengräbers Heimwehe D842 (Craigher)

Im Walde D708

Der Schiffer D694 (F von Schlegel)

Fülle der Liebe D854 (F von Schlegel)

Lebensmelodien D395 (A W von Schlegel)

Das Marienbild D623 (Schreiber)

Die drei Sänger D329 (Bobrik)

Grablied fur die Mutter D616 (poet unknown)
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