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Schubert: Winterreise

Schubert: Winterreise

by Joyce DiDonato Joyce DiDonato
Schubert: Winterreise

Schubert: Winterreise

by Joyce DiDonato Joyce DiDonato


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Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is far from the first female singer to undertake Schubert's song cycle "Die Winterreise, D. 911." Although the traveling figure in Wilhelm Müller's texts is definitely male, what strikes one in listening to an unorthodox interpretation like this one, is how little the gender is mentioned; it is the emotions that count. Thus, the issue has simply been left unaddressed, or the figure is sometimes said to be of indeterminate gender, and things work well enough. DiDonato's reading, though, recorded live at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium in 2019 (the space is too large for this work, and there was some coughing), is something else again, something more radical. DiDonato imagines the woman to whom the poems were addressed, having received them in the mail in the form of a journal. In person, this could be shown clearly; a supertitle announced: "I received his journal in the post," and the songs were presented as DiDonato pretended to read them. On a recording, this apparatus is lost, and the listener has to rely on a booklet note that, in the case of online hearings, must be searched for, and it may work for some and not for others. Yet DiDonato is a skillful singer who, at times, manages to inject the reactions of the woman, who is also in love, into the songs. Listen to "Auf dem Flusse," which could in her reading be about either person. More generally, she adopts a dramatic, Italianate sound that diverges from the usual quiet gloom with which the cycle is sung, and this also distances the listener from the original concept. The accompaniment from Yannick Nézet-Séguin matches this well. Almost anything DiDonato does is worth hearing, and this release may go down as one of her bolder and most characteristic experiments.

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Product Details

Release Date: 04/23/2021
Label: Erato
UPC: 0190295284145
catalogNumber: 528414
Rank: 27098


  1. Winterreise, song cycle for voice & piano, D. 911 (Op. 89)

    1. Gute Nacht  (05:46)
    2. Die Wetterfahne  (01:39)
    3. Gefrorne Tränen  (02:28)
    4. Erstarrung  (03:09)
    5. Der Lindenbaum  (04:46)
    6. Wasserflut  (03:28)
    7. Auf dem Flusse  (03:27)
    8. Rückblick  (02:12)
    9. Irrlicht  (02:40)
    10. Rast  (03:48)
    11. Frühlingstraum  (03:53)
    12. Einsamkeit  (02:45)
    13. Die Post  (02:08)
    14. Der greise Kopf  (03:12)
    15. Die Krähe  (01:42)
    16. Letzte Hoffnung  (02:03)
    17. Im Dorfe  (03:12)
    18. Der stürmische Morgen  (00:45)
    19. Täuschung  (01:29)
    20. Der Wegweiser  (04:00)
    21. Das Wirtshaus  (04:02)
    22. Mut  (01:16)
    23. Die Nebensonnen  (02:53)
    24. Der Leiermann  (03:28)

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