Author Topic: Schubert Lieder  (Read 42007 times)

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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #140 on: August 15, 2010, 09:37:04 PM »
Here's Marian Anderson in Der Döppelganger--a fine voice with much feeling (although maybe a little flat at times).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6oxJ23J7Jc

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Offline Guido

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #141 on: August 16, 2010, 01:30:33 AM »
We never got Harry's update! It's now a year and a day overdue.

I'm sorely tempted by that complete lieder edition but sadly don't have the money at the moment.

At the moment all I have is that incredible Schwarzkopf/Fischer CD and also an equally wonderful CD by Fleming/Eschenbach. I approached it with trepidation as although I am definitely a Fleming fan, I was not greatly enamoured with her other recital CD "Night Songs" (which contains songs by Strauss, Marx, Debussy, Fauré and Rachmaninov) - but the Schubert CD is just wonderful - as always with Fleming her German singing is so sensitive and precise; the vibrato reduced, but the refulgent "Fleming sound" still warming every phrase, and the voice in peak condition. One sometimes forgets that after her first music degree at Eastman, she went to Germany with the intention of studying on an opera course, but didn't get on and so had to "settle" for the lieder course - at this time she also had masterclasses with Schwarzkopf. Eschenbach is a surprisingly excellent accompanist - these two seem to understand each other perfectly - an ideal partnership. Some old favourites on offer here as well as some real rarities (Fleming is famous for this of course - most of her CDs have something very obscure and usually delectable). One hopes (probably in vain) that she will do another disc at some point.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 02:21:05 AM by Guido »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #142 on: August 16, 2010, 07:36:46 AM »
Here's Marian Anderson in Der Döppelganger--a fine voice with much feeling (although maybe a little flat at times).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6oxJ23J7Jc

ZB

A fine voice certainly, and she does sing with feeling, but without bringing anything really specific to the song.

It is precisely this kind of song where I feel Fischer-Dieskau triumphs. How marvellously he grasps the poet's blank despair and mounting horror.  Some will no doubt find it a bit over the top, but I think it matches perfectly this piece of grand guignol.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKVnL9JvuO8&p=53FB98B70F61C9DB&playnext=1&index=7


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Offline Guido

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #143 on: August 16, 2010, 08:09:23 AM »
I think this forum is particularly Fischer-Dieskau-Sceptic - so much so that excuses are always made when someone professes to liking him!! I agree - wonderful stuff (though the wobble on the climax is surely not healthy singing. Though, it seems to be hard to avoid in Bass/bass-baritone singing. Why is this?)
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #144 on: August 16, 2010, 08:28:30 AM »
I think this forum is particularly Fischer-Dieskau-Sceptic - so much so that excuses are always made when someone professes to liking him!! I agree - wonderful stuff (though the wobble on the climax is surely not healthy singing. Though, it seems to be hard to avoid in Bass/bass-baritone singing. Why is this?)

I think, though I don't know, that this is quite late Fischer-Deiskau, which might explain the wobble (or wide vibrato). His voice was much firmer when he was young.

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #145 on: August 16, 2010, 08:56:15 AM »
Listening now to the Fleming/Eschenbach disc detailed above by Guido.

First impressions are good. One capitulates to the sheer beauty of the voice, certainly, but (why is there always a but?) I sometimes feel the emotion is externally applied, particularly in a song like Die junge Nonne. Both Schwarzkopf and Janet Baker seem to feel the song from within. So too does De Los Angeles, whose delivery is more simple and direct, and who may appeal to those who find the singing of such as Baker and Schwarzkopf too interventionist. I felt much the same about Fleming's performance of Gretchen am Spinnrade. It's actually very similar in tempo and feel to Schwarzkopf's version, but Schwarzkopf is again more inside the song, with an almost horrified gasp at the remembrance of Faust's kiss.

Mostly I prefer Fleming in the lighter songs, one  of the most lovely performances being Auf dem Wasser zu singen, sung with a light, slivery tone, which matches perfectly Eschenbach's suitably gleaming accompaniment. Oddly enough, though, it is often Schwarzkopf and Fischer, who are more classical in their approach, achieving their effects within a far stricter time frame, where Fleming and Eschenbach are more Romatically free with the tempo. Sometimes this freedom of tempo can impede the natural ebb and flow of the song, as I feel it does in Nacht und Traume, where I began to be more aware of the singer's breath control than anything else. Same problem with Du bist di Ruh. Baker, with Geoffrey Parsons is superb here, the climaxes much more naturally paced and felt.

I know I'm carping, because, for the most part, I did enjoy this recital, but I'm not sure, that I would call it a classic Schubert recital, lovely though the singing is and accomplished though the accompaniments are. Sometimes it feels as if Fleming is just trying too hard, as if she is looking over her shoulder to see if Dame Elisabeth approves.

Guido, I would urge you to acquire some of Baker's Schubert. She rarely puts a foot wrong and her response to the poetry is always somehow more natural.


« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 09:26:28 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline ccar

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #146 on: August 16, 2010, 10:04:25 AM »
It is precisely this kind of song where I feel Fischer-Dieskau triumphs. How marvellously he grasps the poet's blank despair and mounting horror.  Some will no doubt find it a bit over the top, but I think it matches perfectly this piece of grand guignol.

I already confessed my difficulty in connecting with DFD’s singing. I am always impressed, but never marveled nor seduced. And I don’t want to fuel the DFD love-hate debate, but when comparing various singers to post on this thread, some days ago, I went through his recordings of Der Doppelganger – MYTO 1948; EMI 1951; ORFEO 1956; EMI 1962; DG 1972 (I didn’t listen to his last (?) recording with Brendel).
 
Some listeners may look at Der Doppelganger as a ghostly horror nightmare or as a cry of suffering madness. If the singer also feels that way he may use his interpretative skills and the many dynamic indications of the song to produce a dramatic and frightening moment.  Perhaps this is a simplistic description, but in this Kind of recreation of the poem/song Fischer-Dieskau is quite effective. He does begin the song very softly but after the vision appearance we are continuously overwhelmed by his full vocal power, like an uncontrolled and terrifying cry of madness. And in the various DFD versions I listened I perceived this same interpretative picture. 

I already expressed I personally tend to look at Der Doppelganger in a much more dreamy and introspective way. Not without drama – there is surprise, confusion, fear and suffering. But there is also a denial, a personal refusal and eventually, with the revealing dream, an acceptance dialog with our own self. And for me this is also how I read Schubert’s music. He underlines the moments of tension and suffering, but from the beginning he chooses to create an hypnotic ambiance, uses many minor and descending chords and ends the song beautifully, not in terror or madness, but in an almost sweet remembrance of the lost love - evoked by the singing line in in alter Zeit  and by the delightful postlude.
     
It is in this sense I don’t prefer Fischer-Dieskau. He is a great singer but in my personal script of Der Doppelganger he is not the best actor for the part.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 10:06:00 AM by ccar »

Offline Guido

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #147 on: August 16, 2010, 12:54:44 PM »
Listening now to the Fleming/Eschenbach disc detailed above by Guido.

First impressions are good. One capitulates to the sheer beauty of the voice, certainly, but (why is there always a but?) I sometimes feel the emotion is externally applied, particularly in a song like Die junge Nonne. Both Schwarzkopf and Janet Baker seem to feel the song from within. So too does De Los Angeles, whose delivery is more simple and direct, and who may appeal to those who find the singing of such as Baker and Schwarzkopf too interventionist. I felt much the same about Fleming's performance of Gretchen am Spinnrade. It's actually very similar in tempo and feel to Schwarzkopf's version, but Schwarzkopf is again more inside the song, with an almost horrified gasp at the remembrance of Faust's kiss.

Mostly I prefer Fleming in the lighter songs, one  of the most lovely performances being Auf dem Wasser zu singen, sung with a light, slivery tone, which matches perfectly Eschenbach's suitably gleaming accompaniment. Oddly enough, though, it is often Schwarzkopf and Fischer, who are more classical in their approach, achieving their effects within a far stricter time frame, where Fleming and Eschenbach are more Romatically free with the tempo. Sometimes this freedom of tempo can impede the natural ebb and flow of the song, as I feel it does in Nacht und Traume, where I began to be more aware of the singer's breath control than anything else. Same problem with Du bist di Ruh. Baker, with Geoffrey Parsons is superb here, the climaxes much more naturally paced and felt.

I know I'm carping, because, for the most part, I did enjoy this recital, but I'm not sure, that I would call it a classic Schubert recital, lovely though the singing is and accomplished though the accompaniments are. Sometimes it feels as if Fleming is just trying too hard, as if she is looking over her shoulder to see if Dame Elisabeth approves.

Guido, I would urge you to acquire some of Baker's Schubert. She rarely puts a foot wrong and her response to the poetry is always somehow more natural.

OK I will have a look - is there a particular CD by Baker you recommend?

I actually think that Fleming is refreshingly free and unrestrained (as in not beholden to the Doyenne) in what can sometimes seem like "sacred cow" repertoire. This is always a taste thing though, with singers probably more than any other type of musician, so I'm willing to accept your not quite adulatory review ( :)). We are probably willing to forgive our favourites more - I probably like Schwarzkopf as a singer about as much as you like Fleming (at least as far as I can judge from your posts) - I respect her enormously and I very much like or even love much of what she's done, but it doesn't always do it for me. There are times when I wish she would let go more and just enjoy the sound of her own voice, but she rarely (never?) seems to do this, which is why her Strauss can sometimes seem to me a little odd - it's clear that Strauss wants this at times and she sometimes seems to miss (or maybe just doesn''t acknowledge) that part of the meaning of the music is the sound - especially in Strauss. One forgives her of course because the singing is just so wonderful most of the time, but I sometimes feel frustrated by her lack of acknowledgement of the more soaringly erotic, and lets face it more vulgar, sentimental, and even sleazy aspects of Strauss' art.

Woops massive aside! sorry!

So what about men? Who is the Schwarzkopf equivalent in this repertoire (back to Schubert!)? I guess really it is Fischer-Dieskau. Both get accused of roughly the same thing - being mannered and overdoing the text, often unfairly. (Do we know what they thought of each other?) What about tenors in this rep?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 01:12:23 PM by Guido »
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Offline Guido

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #148 on: August 16, 2010, 02:04:42 PM »
Here's a passage that I really like from Robin Holloway's review of the Hyperion complete lieder edition (the review is generally glowing):

Quote from: Robin Holloway
So through all this literary matter [he's talking about the sometimes irksome though always fascinating liner notes], occasioned by it and consuming it utterly, burns the compelling intensity and unlimited beauty of -I'm throwing caution to the winds!- the most original, fecund, inspired composer who ever existed. Original because so unbeholden: no composer before or since has had in his gift a larger admixture of absolutely new things that music can embody and express. Fecund because so frequent, with such protean variety (obviously not every one of the 600 will be equally new, beautiful, profound, but the proportion of quality is high, there is plenty to cherish on the lower slopes of Parnassus, almost nothing is wholly untouched by his powers). Inspired because he is the composer closest to music's intrinsic nature; he combines consummate purity of grammatical usage (even when such usages had scarcely been touched on, or touched off, before) fused with an unprecedented reliance on total expressiveness; objective and subjective are held in such equipoise that they lose their customary polarity.

As per usual he seems to capture it very well here.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 02:07:03 PM by Guido »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #149 on: August 16, 2010, 08:54:54 PM »


I am off to work in a moment, so no long explanations. However, this is the one to get. It consists of a two LP recital with Gerald Moore together with a rather later LP. Wonderful performances and it embraces well known and rare songs.

Mike
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #150 on: August 16, 2010, 10:40:04 PM »
So what about men? Who is the Schwarzkopf equivalent in this repertoire (back to Schubert!)? I guess really it is Fischer-Dieskau. Both get accused of roughly the same thing - being mannered and overdoing the text, often unfairly. (Do we know what they thought of each other?) What about tenors in this rep?

If you don't like DFD, there are a slew of good alternatives in this repertoire. With the Hyperion and Naxos 'sets' (and their use of multiple singers), there are a lot of interesting viewpoints to consider. If you look more at a few individual contributors, there are several good choices: Goerne (who is in the midst of his own mini-cycle), Wunderlich (who needs little introduction), Ian Bostridge, Quasthoff, Herman Prey, and Werner Gura to name a few.

I have Goerne and Wunderlich performing some Shcubert (and the Hyperion set, which I can recommend), and both are pretty fabulous. While I am going through the Hyperion set, I don't feel much need to acquire more, but if I did, it would probably be Gura for a tenor version of Wintereise.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #151 on: August 17, 2010, 11:50:17 AM »
Here is someone I urge you to try,the baritone Christian Gerhaher. He is remarkable. The voice is flexible and beautiful. But it is his way with words that is so arresting. He sings with an inward authority and shines new light onto well known songs. An original and inspired singer.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dclassical&field-keywords=gerhaher+schubert&x=21&y=20

Earlier review:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=search2

Mike
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 11:53:42 AM by knight »
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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #152 on: August 17, 2010, 06:17:41 PM »
If you don't like DFD, there are a slew of good alternatives in this repertoire. With the Hyperion and Naxos 'sets' (and their use of multiple singers), there are a lot of interesting viewpoints to consider. If you look more at a few individual contributors, there are several good choices: Goerne (who is in the midst of his own mini-cycle), Wunderlich (who needs little introduction), Ian Bostridge, Quasthoff, Herman Prey, and Werner Gura to name a few.

I have Goerne and Wunderlich performing some Shcubert (and the Hyperion set, which I can recommend), and both are pretty fabulous. While I am going through the Hyperion set, I don't feel much need to acquire more, but if I did, it would probably be Gura for a tenor version of Wintereise.

I'm underwhelmed by what I have of Bostridge's Schubert (a 2 CD issue he made with Andsnes)--seemed somewhat superficial to me.  But I agree with you about Goerne.

For a tenor Winteriese, I have the Padmore/Lewis recording on HM;  I'd suggest that if you want a contemporary performance.   If Pregardien recorded the cycle, he would probably also be a safe bet: I have him singing Schone Mullerin and Schwangesang.



Quote from: knight
Here is someone I urge you to try,the baritone Christian Gerhaher. He is remarkable. The voice is flexible and beautiful. But it is his way with words that is so arresting. He sings with an inward authority and shines new light onto well known songs.

I don't have his Schubert, but I do have his Mahler, and what you say applies just as much to those performances.

Offline knight66

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #153 on: August 17, 2010, 08:47:09 PM »
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Offline Guido

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #154 on: August 17, 2010, 11:39:02 PM »
Ordered the Baker two-fer, and three discs by Gerhaher - The Schubert/Brahms/Martin one, Schwanengesang and then the Schoenberg/Mahler one. All very cheap! I will report back.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #155 on: August 18, 2010, 08:19:14 AM »
All the best with those. I keep linking this, but in case you missed it, here is a site with all the words to the songs and translations. The Baker discs have no copies of the texts.

http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/

Mike

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Offline Guido

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #156 on: August 18, 2010, 09:38:00 AM »
All the best with those. I keep linking this, but in case you missed it, here is a site with all the words to the songs and translations. The Baker discs have no copies of the texts.

http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/

Mike

Cheers! I speak German, so hope that I can understand if the diction is clear enough, but it is always nice to have the text to get the overall picture of the poem.
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Offline mjwal

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #157 on: August 19, 2010, 04:41:30 AM »
Kishnevi: >For a tenor Winterreise, I have the Padmore/Lewis recording on HM;  I'd suggest that if you want a contemporary performance.   If Prégardien recorded the cycle, he would probably also be a safe bet: I have him singing Schöne Müllerin and Schwanengesang.<
If? The Prégardien Winterreise came out in '97. And it is very good, perhaps the best tenor winter journey with forte piano on CD, though I have not yet heard the venerable Ernst Haefliger/Dähler (which I shall listen to when I return to Berlin in the autumn).
Reverting to the question of antipathy to FiDi and/or Schwarzkopf: I admired, nay swooned over FiDi in my youth, ditto Schwarzkopf. I still love the latter, despite her occasional mannerisms, but since I "discovered" Irmgard Seefried in Lieder I have come to appreciate the complimentary remark that Schwarzkopf herself made about her, remarking that Seefried had a natural gift of rightness of expression which other singers had to work very hard to achieve. And you can compare her versions of "Gretchen am Spinnrade" over the years, from 1956 (Archipel) via 1957 (live - Orfeo) and 1962 (BBC), all w/Werba. Perhaps her HMV recordings of the 40s are available on CD? (I have an EMI Références 2LP selection, but "Meine Ruh ist hin" is not among them). It would be exaggerating to say that in the Gretchen song Mme. Schw. is Madame de Merteuil and Seefried Sophie de Volanges, but you get the point, perhaps. You must get the Seefried, anyway, preferably the BBC, to hear the mini "Gretchen-Oper" - Schubert's settings of Goethe's Faust for soprano: D367, 118, 564 and 126 - the latter being a terrifying evocation of despair, and to my ears anticipating much later music - written by Schubert in his late teens! (Do you really want to hear Quasthoff doing the police in different voices in this? And has any other soprano done these as a group? Not Janowitz, at least on the 2-CD collection I possess of her DG Schubert recordings. ) - As to FiDi, I have an on/off relationship with his voice and interpretative approach. I cold never have sat through the ensemble of his Schubert recordings for DG, even if I could have afforded them. But Gesamtaufnahmen were never my bag...
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Offline Verena

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #158 on: August 19, 2010, 04:49:09 AM »
Quote
If? The Prégardien Winterreise came out in '97. And it is very good, perhaps the best tenor winter journey with forte piano on CD, though I have not yet heard the venerable Ernst Haefliger/Dähler (which I shall listen to when I return to Berlin in the autumn).

Seconded. The Prégardien Winterreise is very good, one of my favorites. Though, in my book, as far as Winterreisen are concerned, nothing comes close to the never-released-on-CD Souzay recording from 1959, one year before his Philips recording. But then, I adore Souzay.
If someone is interested in that recording, p-mail me.

kishnevi

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Re: Schubert Lieder
« Reply #159 on: August 19, 2010, 06:34:18 AM »
Seconded. The Prégardien Winterreise is very good, one of my favorites. Though, in my book, as far as Winterreisen are concerned, nothing comes close to the never-released-on-CD Souzay recording from 1959, one year before his Philips recording. But then, I adore Souzay.
If someone is interested in that recording, p-mail me.

Thanks to both of you.

I suspected Pregardien had recorded it, but was not at the time completely sure, and didn't want to be the sort of idiot who tells people to buy a recording that doesn't exist :)