Author Topic: Ihre Favourite Winterreise  (Read 2220 times)

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Offline Rinaldo

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Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« on: February 02, 2021, 03:13:09 AM »
A recent trip through the winter countryside brought me back to Schubert's cycle – and this forum. Long time no see... And how good it is to see those familiar names & faces, bless y'all!



I've scoured older threads for Winterreise tips and wasn't entirely satisfied, so here's my question: What are your favourite recordings of Winterreise and why?

So far I've collected this trio (Hotter being my top pick so far) and heard a bunch of others, but my ears are wide open. Did anyone say fortepiano? I sure did!



This wonderful online compendium is melting my frozen heart right now but I'm curious about your opinions and recommendations. Let it snow!

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 04:15:05 AM »
Like much, all, music between 1700 and 1950, there are two approaches to performance and you have to decide which one you want.

1. Cool impeccable well prepared singing from a cultured, well trained voice.
2. Hot and expressive heart felt singing, imaginative and involved at the deepest level. An outpouring.

I don't think you can have your cake and eat it.

And then, of course, there's the whole issue of what the piano is doing in this.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 04:17:21 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 06:02:45 AM »
A recent trip through the winter countryside brought me back to Schubert's cycle – and this forum. Long time no see... And how good it is to see those familiar names & faces, bless y'all!



I've scoured older threads for Winterreise tips and wasn't entirely satisfied, so here's my question: What are your favourite recordings of Winterreise and why?

So far I've collected this trio (Hotter being my top pick so far) and heard a bunch of others, but my ears are wide open. Did anyone say fortepiano? I sure did!



This wonderful online compendium is melting my frozen heart right now but I'm curious about your opinions and recommendations. Let it snow!

I have two each of Fischer-Dieskau (with Moore and Demus) and Goerne (with Brendel and Eschenbach), I haven't heard the Hotter. I prefer F-D with Demus but that might be because it was my first ever Winterreise and Goerne with Eschebach - not sure why, it just seemed that way when I listened to it. I prefer Goerne to F-D, he has fewer vocal mannerisms.

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 06:45:42 AM »
Like much, all, music between 1700 and 1950, there are two approaches to performance and you have to decide which one you want.

1. Cool impeccable well prepared singing from a cultured, well trained voice.
2. Hot and expressive heart felt singing, imaginative and involved at the deepest level. An outpouring.

I don't think you can have your cake and eat it.

Just to clarify, I'm not looking for a 'definitive recording', just interpretations worth exploring. I presume an example of #2 would be, say, Ian Bostridge? The words are so expressive themselves that I can see myself gravitating towards a more restrained approach.

I prefer Goerne to F-D, he has fewer vocal mannerisms.

I'm a big fan of Goerne's Nacht und Träume and I see he did a few other W.'s, so I'll seek them out. The live one with Brendel looks especially enticing.

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 08:27:03 AM »
Am no expert, I have these

CD  Trekel, Eisenlohr/nax 38cd-2
CD  Schreier,Richter/decca 2cd 85-09 478 171-4
CD  Güra,Berner/harm m 10 hmc 902066
CD  Holl,Grubert/brill 7cd 99443
LP   Adam,Dunckel/eurodisc 2lp 300 023 435
LP   Greindl,Klust/dg mono dgm19093 (surface noise)
LP   F-Dieskau,K.Billing/mov musica mono 1948 2lp live 02.013
LP   F-Dieskau,Moore/emi mono 3LP 1c 175 764-66
LP   F-Dieskau,Demus/dg 2lp 2707 028

But for two recordings of rare, mostly expressive qualities, I'd suggest hearing Schreier/Richter and Güra/Berner (Berner plays a slightly historical piano, but it's historical in a discreet, subtle way), these are my own favourites ...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 01:37:52 PM by MusicTurner »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 08:32:46 AM »
Just to clarify, I'm not looking for a 'definitive recording', just interpretations worth exploring. I presume an example of #2 would be, say, Ian Bostridge? The words are so expressive themselves that I can see myself gravitating towards a more restrained approach.



Britta Schwartz
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Offline springrite

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 11:12:41 AM »
For a more standard approach, the DFD with Demus.

But a perhaps unusual choice is Jon Vickers, a very impassioned approach that is also wonderful.
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Offline ritter

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2021, 11:44:17 AM »
A very restrained, ascetic almost, but extremely effective approach—with the greatest attention to the words— is that of Christine Schäfer with Eric Schneider:


Not often do we encounter female singers in Winterreise (Lotte Lehmann—the first woman to record it AFAIK—, Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, Schäfer, and—soon to be released—Joyce DiDonato), and some may see this as anathema, but this recording is superb!
ritter
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« …tout cela qui prend forme et solidité, est sorti, ville et jardins, de ma tasse de thé. »

Offline Iota

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 01:23:59 PM »
I really like Christian Gerhaher, whose clarity and beauty of delivery communicates the heartache and darkness of the cycle powerfully, whilst simultaneously making one almost swoon at its loveliness. Superbly accompanied by Gerold Huber.

I have it in this box:


Offline ritter

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 01:32:17 PM »
I really like Christian Gerhaher, whose clarity and beauty of delivery communicates the heartache and darkness of the cycle powerfully, whilst simultaneously making one almost swoon at its loveliness. Superbly accompanied by Gerold Huber.

I have it in this box:


...and what a box that is! A treasure trove....
ritter
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« …tout cela qui prend forme et solidité, est sorti, ville et jardins, de ma tasse de thé. »

Offline amw

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2021, 01:35:34 PM »
Discounting arrangements, I have:

Christian Gerhaher & Gerold Huber (RCA)
Christine Schäfer & Eric Schneider (Onyx)
Daniel Behle & Oliver Schnyder (RCA)
Florian Boesch & Malcolm Martineau (Onyx)
Hans-Jörg Mammel & Arthur Schoonderwoerd (Alpha)
James Gilchrist & Anna Tillbrook (Orchid Classics)
Jan Kobow & Christoph Hammer (ATMA)
Peter Schreier & András Schiff (Decca)
Werner Güra & Christoph Berner (harmonia mundi)

I like most of them, for various reasons, but consider Schäfer, Kobow and Güra my favourites in roughly that order.

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2021, 04:05:24 PM »
Splendid, thanks everyone <3

Not often do we encounter female singers in Winterreise (Lotte Lehmann—the first woman to record it AFAIK—, Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, Schäfer, and—soon to be released—Joyce DiDonato), and some may see this as anathema, but this recording is superb!

Noted! Don't see a reason why women shouldn't venture on their very own winter journeys. I've sampled this Abramowitsch disc via YouTube and while it didn't make much of an impression on me, I'm interested in hearing other female voices braving Schubert's doom & gloom.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2021, 01:08:44 AM »
The only female version I own and know is Fassbaender/Reimann. Which is very interesting and not the least because Reimann is not your average accompanist either. I think I have heard bits of Schäfer in the Radio and found her voice "too small" (o.k. most voices can seem smallish compared to Fassbaender) and didn't like it much but this is of course a rather superficial impression. I still prefer men but I think one should hear one or some recordings with a tenor, not bariton/bass only. My favorite tenor version is probably Pregardien/Staier (which was also among the first with a historical piano although Equiluz or Haefliger were earlier, both a bit of an acquired taste with aging singers) but I haven't heard so many (and important historical one that is also quite different, some would say unabashedly operatic, is Anders from the 1940s). Pears/Britten is also famous but an acquired taste (I disliked some of Pears lieder because of mannerisms but don't remember if I like his Winterreise more.)
My favorite baritone recording is probably Fi-Di/Demus.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline amw

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2021, 01:28:27 AM »
The song cycle was written for high voice (preferably tenor although soprano works too) and, due to inconsistent transpositions by various publishers, is also the only way its key scheme makes sense tonally. I think for those reasons I almost always prefer singers with high voices, also in Schöne Müllerin, and in the four Schumann cycles for high voice (Dichterliebe, Heine-Liederkreis, Eichendorff-Liederkreis, Kerner-Liederreihe).

Of course it seems rather unfortunate that the low & medium voice repertoire doesn't really take off until Brahms and Wolf, and there is no unequivocal reason a baritone or contralto should be barred from singing Winterreise (I own a couple of baritone recordings myself) but with knowledge of the score you start to recognise and be bothered by the "wrong" keys etc. Like I can never mentally accept people singing Schumann's Stille Tränen in A-flat for example, it sounds completely off, even if I can recognise the performance as a great one, such as Gerhaher's.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2021, 01:52:50 AM »
Yes, I knew that. But admittedly it is not something I do hear most of the time being not a practising musician and with hardly an ear for key relationships. lower voices should sing this music but I find it a bit unfortunate that through the dominance of Fischer-Dieskau and a few others since the late 1950s many listeners take baritone as standard voice, not only for Winterreise, and statistically baritones dominate Lieder (for the women it is probably mezzos).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2021, 02:17:33 AM »
How about in English?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/iW04f0olXUY&amp;ab_channel=sanfranphono" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/iW04f0olXUY&amp;ab_channel=sanfranphono</a>

or brought up to date?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/qS_Fhhbb2NQ&amp;ab_channel=JulietFraser" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/qS_Fhhbb2NQ&amp;ab_channel=JulietFraser</a>

(I'm not being very helpful, am I.))


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Offline Biffo

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2021, 04:22:05 AM »
All but one of the Winterreise I own are sung by a baritone.

Fischer-Dieskau/Demus
Fischer-Dieskau/Moore
Goerne/Eschenbach
Goerne/Brendel
Boesch/Martineau
Holzmair/Cooper
Gerhaher/Huber

The exception is Padmore/Lewis; this was highly praised on release but I am afraid I don't like it - at least I gave it a try.  I was sure I had some Schubert from Pregardien but it seems not, probably confusing Schubert with Bach.

I tried Fassbaender but gave up pretty quickly; I usually admire  her voice but not here. The other sopranos I have heard I have liked even less.

Of the baritones I like Goerne the most and Holzmair the least.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2021, 05:33:56 AM »
Shreier is certainly a tenor, and has recorded wellregarded cycles with Richter as well as Schiff.

Offline Iota

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2021, 08:16:32 AM »
...and what a box that is! A treasure trove....

An apt description! A bejewelled box indeed!

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Re: Ihre Favourite Winterreise
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2021, 11:09:14 AM »
I much prefer a tenor in this cycle. I have D F-D with Moore on DG but he is not the best.
Tenor cycles I have:
Schreier with Schiff
Pears with Britten
Bostridge with Andsnes (and with Drake DVD)
Padmore with Lewis
The most searing account is Schreier with Richter live - coughs and all!