- Die schöne Müllerin, song cycle, for voice & piano, D. 795 (Op. 25)
In the wrong performance, Schubert's "Die schöne Müllerin" can go on and on. With all those strophic songs, all those naïve sentiments, all those precious images, and all that whining self-pity, "Die schöne Müllerin" can seem, in the wrong performance, intolerably interminable. This performance by baritone Roman Trekel and pianist Oliver Pohl is, thankfully, not interminable, but deep, rich, beautiful, supremely expressive, and profoundly affecting. Trekel's singer is no sensitive soul with wounded heart; he's a man with a problem, to wit, as Frank Sinatra would say, a dame. Trekel's singer has loved and lost and he feels the way any man feels when his woman leaves him, lowdown and looking for a way out. With Pohl's sensitive accompaniment, Trekel's singer is singing only for the lonely in the wee small hours. We recognize his pain as our pain and we feel better for having listened to him. Oehm's sound puts the listener in the same medium-sized room with Trekel and Pohl, but perhaps just a little bit too far back.