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An indispensable collection

The final volume of Hyperion's Schubert Edition -
explored by PETER DALE

'... indefatigably intelligent, sensitive and musical.'

The Hyperion Schubert Edition. Complete Songs. Vol 37 (c) 2001 Hyperion Records Ltd

 

This is the thirty-seventh (and final) volume of Hyperion's great edition of all the Schubert songs. Begun in the bi-centennial year of 1997, the edition is now complete. Common to every disc was the pianist Graham Johnson, but the singers were varied. Johnson planned and executed each of the volumes in this massive undertaking. The music apart, his astonishingly comprehensive sleeve notes must amount to one of the most important additions to Schubert studies for many years. The notes for this volume -- all 110 pages of them -- are no exception. Similarly and typically generous is this disc's 80 minutes of music.

John Mark Ainsley sings the first seven songs of Schwanengesang (to texts by Rellstab), and Anthony Rolfe Johnson the remaining seven (six texts by Heine -- Schubert's only Heine songs -- and one by Seidl). This slight, subtle differentiation of the poets by using different singing voices is typical of the thoughtful and provocative care with which Graham Johnson has approached the whole enterprise. Here, by this one simple expedient, he makes you listen again, and more carefully perhaps than you've ever done before.

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Copyright © 30 September 2001 Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK

 

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