I waited for this CD eagerly and with great expectations - and received a gem. None of these melodies was familiar to me beforehand, which is no wonder while I`ve heard Lieder only occasionally in some concerts and song contests.These Lieder by Franz Schubert are really beautiful, most are emotional and wistful, some cheerful, all are so melodious. I can`t name any favourites, they are absolutely delightful everyone. Christian Gerhaher`s singing is so brilliant, smooth and sensitive but strong when needed, splendidly communicating with the pianist Gerold Huber. These two are indeed superb artists both, and I feel utterly fortunate having the luxury of listening to them on this lovely CD. I was impatient enough to listen to these Lieder via Youtube before I got the CD and I found them marvellous. But then the CD really gives much better, richer sound leading the listener into a state of ecstasy. Later, 3.3.2015, added This CD won in 2006 the German Record Critique`s Award and Gramophone Award.
A wonderful performance by one of the world's best Lieder singers today, including some well-known gems of the Lieder repertory and some lesser-known treasures. Listen to this if you want to study good singing!
Lieder listening can provoke an anxiety akin to that afflicting wine drinkers; we all enjoy quaffing the vino, but what happens when you're confronted by some oenophile who starts analysing the structure and looking for hints of myrtle and drowned pigeon? Who dismisses your favourite economy red as jug wine for peasants. There are people who will listen to a lieder recital with all the microscopic attention to detail of a forensic scientist, then dismiss the latest pretender as no match for DFD.
What I'm getting at is that art songs give me pleasure, stir emotions, but the genre causes me more anxiety than any other form of classical music. So let me just say that I know this album has had excellent reviews in professional publications, but what drew me to it was hearing Gerhaher sing Mahler at the Proms, where he was completely persuasive. I thought his baritone very dramatic but very beatiful in the upper register. So I recommend this album to you as one that makes capital of what I take to be among the lesser known of Schubert's many many songs. It should therefore fit in with other recitals you may already own.
The lack of catalogue numbers for the songs is annoying but the liner notes are still very good and the translations included. Very important information that you won't get with a download, so buy the CD.