Thursday, 11 December 2008

213. Franz Schubert - Lieder (1814-28)


Title: An Die Musik
Performers: Bryn Terfel, Malcolm Martineau
Year: 1994
Length: 1 hour 10 minutes


If you want a representative collection of Schubert's songs you could go much worse than this collection. Bryn Terfel does a great job of portraying the necessary emotion, in the days before he went all pop/classical, the downfall of so many classical singers.

The selection of song here is great, and if we previously saw Loewe as the "Schubert of North Germany", this is the real Schubert, no one is as good as him in Lieder in the 19th century.

The songs here run the gamut from very still and beautiful like Litanie auf das Fest Allerseelen to the horrific like Erlkonig and even the joyful such as Die Forelle. Each song is a little gem here, it is a pity I don't know enough German to enjoy the tracks completely but the musical content is more than enough to excite.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Four characters — narrator, father, son, and the Erlking — are all sung by one vocalist normally, but the work has been performed by four separate singers on occasion. Schubert has placed each character in largely a different vocal range and each has his own rhythmic nuances; in addition, most vocalists endeavor to use a different vocal color for each one.

The Narrator lies in the middle range and is in minor mode.

The Father lies in the low range and sings both in minor mode and major mode

The Son lies in a high range, also in minor mode, representing the fright of the child.

The Erlking's vocal line undulates up and down to arpeggiated accompaniment resulting in striking contrast and is in the major mode. The Erlking lines are typically sung pianissimo, portraying a sneaky persuasiveness.

Fischer Dieskau does Erlkonig with subtitles:

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