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Schubert - Winterreise

Composer Franz Schubert
Performer Eugene Asti
James Rutherford
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2410 SACD
EAN 7318599924106
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Nov 2021
Total time 71'45


When Franz Schubert in 1827 invited a friend to the first performance of his Winterreise, he called it ‘a cycle of horrifying songs’. The texts that he had chosen to set were by the poet Wilhelm Müller, whose 24 poems form a psychodrama which starts with regret over a lost love but develops into an inner voyage in which a nameless Wanderer probes for answers to existential questions. There is no plot, no events in the external world: instead, we spy on fleeting emotions and thoughts. In setting these poems to music &&&Schubert was confronting his own probable fate: Winterreise was completed the year before his death in 1828, at the age of 31, and he will have known that the syphilis he had contracted in late 1822 often led to insanity and paralysis before release in death. With this in mind, one understands why Schubert himself said that the cycle had cost him ‘more effort than any of my other songs.’

Originally written for tenor voice, the songs are often heard transposed to other vocal ranges. Here the whole cycle is transposed a minor third down, to suit the baritone of James Rutherford. Primarily active as an opera singer – he is a Wagner specialist – Rutherford also enjoys a long-lasting partnership with pianist Eugene Asti. On BIS the two have previously released a recording of Schubert’s Schwanengesang – a disc which received top marks from the German website klassik-heute.de and was described as ‘one of the best recordings of these songs that I’ve heard’ by the reviewer in American Record Guide.
 
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  Franz Schubert
  Winterreise, D 911 71'35
01 Gute Nacht (Good Night) 5'46
02 Die Wetterfahne (The Weathervane) 1'45
03 Gefrorne Tränen (Frozen Tears) 2'26
04 Erstarrung (Numbness) 2'58
05 Der Lindenbaum (The Linden Tree) 4'43
06 Wasserflut (Flood) 3'52
07 Auf dem Flusse (On the River) 3'26
08 Rückblick (Backward Glance) 2'08
09 Irrlicht (Will-o'-the-wisp) 2'33
10 Rast (Rest) 3'29
11 Frühlingstraum (Dream of Spring) 3'54
12 Einsamkeit (Loneliness) 2'57
13 Die Post (The Post) 2'19
14 Der greise Kopf (The Grey Head) 2'44
15 Die Krähe (The Crow) 2'02
16 Letzte Hoffnung (Last Hope) 2'03
17 Im Dorfe (In the Village) 3'24
18 Der stürmische Morgen (The Stormy Morning) 0'56
19 Täuschung (Illusion) 1'16
20 Der Wegweiser (The Signpost) 4'14
21 Das Wirtshaus (The Inn) 4'25
22 Mut! (Courage!) 1'23
23 Die Nebensonnen (The Mock Suns) 2'56
24 Der Leiermann (The Hurdy-Gurdy Player) 3'56
 
  Album total 71'45
ComposerSchubert, Franz
BaritoneRutherford, James
PianoAsti, Eugene

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