- Winterreise, song cycle for voice & piano, D. 911 (Op. 89)
Schubert: Winterreiseby Christopher Maltman
Baritone Christopher Maltman and his frequent collaborator Graham Johnson teamed up for this 2010 performance of "Winterreise" at London's Wigmore Hall. Both are performers of the highest order, but their "Winterreise" fails to stand out in the crowded field of excellent recordings of Schubert's grim cycle. Maltman is in good, full voice and sings with a broad emotional range, although his prevailing tone is weighted toward the poet's fierce anger. His most effective moments come when he is voicing the protagonist's fury at his hopeless situation in songs like "Auf dem Flusse," and "Der stürmische Morgen." With his operatic background, he has plenty of unforced power at moments like these, where performers who are primarily recital singers sometimes strain for effect. Throughout, his singing sounds entirely natural and effortless, and there are many little felicities, like slipping into head voice in parts of "Der Wegweiser." Overall, though, his reading, while musically smart, doesn't have the probing psychological depth of the versions that send a chill down the listener's spine. Johnson proves a capable accompanist, and like Maltman, he is most effective in the stormier songs. His interpretation has some distracting idiosyncrasies; in "Der Krähe," in which the accompaniment seems intended to imitate the soaring of the crow high above, Johnson's playing is oddly clipped. The sound is clear and well-balanced, but a little on the distant side. Maltman and Johnson deliver a "Winterreise" that is solid, but not transcendent.
- Release Date:
- Wigmore Hall Live
Performance CreditsChristopher Maltman Primary Artist
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