Quite simply, this is Goerne at his best. There is nowhere a phrase that is not 100% considered, and delivered to the highest standards of Schubertian interpretation. Goerne has the ability to change his tone, timbre, volume and vocal production from one word to the next, and it`s an ability he uses to the fullest, without ever letting go of the shape and development of the song.
It is a plus that the tessitura of these songs suits his voice perfectly, enabling him to utilise the full qualities of his vocal range. One will need to go a long way to find his equal as a bass-baritone in Schubert, though Gura, as a tenor, delivers comparable joys.
To take Die Forelle as an example, a spirited rendering takes us from the carefree spirit of the opening verse to the pain and anger of the last with apparent effortlessness though it is, of course, the effortlessness of outstanding skill and art. Another plus throughout, though perhaps here at the most readily noticeable, is the way Haeflinger and Goerne work as a seamless ensemble; this is not singer plus piano, but two collaborators with a single conception.
When it comes to the perpetual dilemma (and interpretative test) of Der Erlkonig: viz. how to realise the characters while maintaining both the ever-onward flow and the overall unity of the piece, then Goerne adopts a convincing balance. Unless one is going to look for the pyrotechnics and magicianship of F-D`s 1965 version Schubert 21 Lieder, then Goerne`s take is about as good as it gets. Indeed, there isn`t a single song which is not exemplary.
If I were to be hyper-critical, it would be to say that enunciation isn`t always perfect, and that the intake of breath is sometimes audible - though never intrusive. There is also a problem on the highest notes of the piano somewhere between the microphone and Haeflinger`s fingers that makes a tinny sound in a very few places. I returned my first copy because this was, frankly, at an unacceptable level; the replacement is much better, though it still affects Der Wanderer, Nachtgesang and, momentarily, Erlkonig. (If I have just gotten a second duff printing, then please let me know...)
But technical perfection is always to be balanced against interpretative excellence; and excel at this, Goerne and Haeflinger certainly do. For anyone who is a fan of Schubert lieder, this recording is unmissable.
I am not qualified to say whether this recording is better than any other. However, the rich and velvety voice of Matthais Goerne is a joy to hear. The piano accompaniment is also very fine. The quality of the recording is wonderful, with a beautiful piano tone and the voice quality excellent.
It came as no surprise to find that Matthias trained with the late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, his voice is very similar. To me it epitomises all that is lovely about the Baritone voice.
I enjoyed listening to this record and would recommend it, and if you buy it then I hope you will too.
The best Schubert ever? I really dont know... On the singing categories without doubt is one of the best. May be you will find a better Schwanengesang or Die schone Mullerin, Try Schreier, or Bostridge, But the precision and the quality of Goerne is outstanding and coherent. You will not regret to buy all the Schubert Edition.
While many ears have been turned by the muted poetry of Christian Gerhaher, Lieder favourite Matthias Goerne has been hard at work on his unfolding series of Schubert recordings. The latest disc, volume seven, is superbly performed in collaboration with the esteemed pianist Andreas Haefliger. But for all the muted melancholy of the opening songs, there's a thrillingly violent underbelly to Goerne's performance, which makes for yet another compelling disc.
Unlike Gerhaher, Goerne is not afraid of stating things outright. His plea, 'Wo bist du, mein geliebstes Land?' in 'Der Wanderer' is riven with desperation, while the insidious nocturnal narrative of 'Erlkönig' gains from an almost Wagnerian strength. Such vivid colouring not only highlights these dramatic passages, but makes the more muted tones of 'Nachtviolen' appear even more enrapt.
Haefliger is a keen accomplice to Goerne in describing the vast emotional and dynamic range of this repertoire. And they give a giddy brilliance to the performance of 'Die Forelle' and wonderful swagger to 'Auf der Bruck'. The sheer variety on offer here makes for a veritable treat, showing both Schubert and one of his greatest living exponents at their most diverse.