Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin

Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin

by Ian Bostridge
     
 
Ian Bostridge was an unknown quantity back in 1996 when he released his first recording of Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin. The disc was a calling card for the young British tenor, and his subsequent recordings -- which have continued to focus on the German Romantics but have also extended to Monteverdi and even Noel

Overview

Ian Bostridge was an unknown quantity back in 1996 when he released his first recording of Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin. The disc was a calling card for the young British tenor, and his subsequent recordings -- which have continued to focus on the German Romantics but have also extended to Monteverdi and even Noel Coward -- have borne out the promise of that early Müllerin, repeatedly confirming his status as one of today's most illuminating interpreters. It shouldn't be surprising that he has returned to this music; few vocal works offer a singer more opportunity for growth and added insight over time than the great Schubert song cycles. (Compare, for example, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who committed Die schöne Müllerin to record in 1951, 1961, and 1972 -- and whose recordings of Schubert's Winterreise approach double digits in number.) Bostridge's voice has lost none of its youthful freshness, such an essential quality for this cycle, but it has gained subtle shades of tone that more effectively convey the cycle's tragedy, and the entire narrative has become even more intimately absorbing. No less convincing than the overall sweep of the work are the countless telling details, the inflections Bostridge chooses to give to particular words, evidence of his deep engagement with every aspect of this music. Best of all, he is paired here with Mitsuko Uchida, a pianist whose own Schubertian accomplishments have been deeply impressive. Together, they manage a rare balancing act between Romantic passion and musical intellect, making this M¨llerin mandatory listening for anyone who wants to experience -- or already loves -- this exquisitely beautiful music.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
Lieder recordings by "dream teams" of famous singers and piano virtuosos are often indulgent, distorted, and interpretively generic -- more the result of marketing than genuine artistic vision. But there are always exceptions to prove the rule, sometimes tremendous exceptions, as is the case with this "Die sch�ne M�llerin" by Ian Bostridge and Mitsuko Uchida. It reveals the versatile Uchida to be as great a collaborative pianist as she is a soloist, and Bostridge to be in top form, responding to Uchida's deft textures and moods with one of his best performances yet. This is Bostridge's second "Die Sch�ne M�llerin," having already recorded the cycle with Graham Johnson as part of Hyperion's complete Schubert edition. The Hyperion recording is pleasant enough, capturing Bostridge in the fresh early years of his career. But it never approaches the interpretive achievements of this latest effort, which surpasses all but the very greatest recordings of the cycle in emotional immediacy and musical revelation. Bostridge doesn't have the vocal colors, range, or warmth to carry the day on his own, or to erase memories of the great lieder singers who have come before. But combined here with Uchida, he manages an expressive tour de force that will likely be seen as one of the best achievements of his career. His snitty, grousing vocal coloration of "Der J�ger" reveals a petty hero enraged by his own masculine inadequacies. The understated ecstasy of "Mein!" departs from the anthemic approaches of many other singers, lending depth and satisfaction to what is often rendered histrionically. And the concluding songs, "Trockne Blumen," "Der M�ller und der Bach," and "Des Baches Wiegenlied," reveal a hero wallowing in an unattractive self pity, the seeds of which certainly contributed to his being thrown over for a stronger man. Throughout it all, there is a sense of real persona, real discovery, and real experience. For her part, Uchida plays with a sense of completely new discovery, revealing shades of color, phrasing, and mood that have never been explored in quite the same way before. Most importantly, she knows how to play extremely softly without sacrificing vitality or propulsive energy, leaving Bostridge free of any concerns about balance while infusing every song with a bubbling rhythmic drive. Because "Die sch�ne M�llerin" is a song cycle, Bostridge is inevitably the face of this recording. But it is Uchida who elevates this recording to greatness, and who evidently knows how to extract the very best from her partner.
New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
Another compelling addition to the Schubert discography [from Bostridge].... His singing is probing and intellectual one moment, intensely expressive the next.... These two artists bring a remarkable unanimity of intention and expression to their work. The variety of touch, articulation, color and character in Ms. Uchida's pianism is uncanny.
Gramophone - John Warrack
It is a thoughtful performance, from both artists...certainly well worth hearing and studying.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/01/2005
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
0724355782724
catalogNumber:
57827

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Die schöne Müllerin, song cycle, for voice & piano, D. 795 (Op. 25)  - Franz Schubert  - Ian Bostridge  - Wilhelm Müller  - Jean-Claude Poyet  - Yehuda Shapiro  - Mitsuko Uchida

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >