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<<  -- 3 --  Peter Dale    An indispensable collection

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There are some gentle surprises. Das Fischermadchen is sung, more often than not, with at least a hint of cynical detachment -- Take it or Leave it (my Love, that is); I don't really care. But here the singing is unimpeachably sincere. The bleak harmonic structure of Die Stadt is generally worn on the sleeve of a performance like an exposed wound to the soul, but here a mysterious minimalism takes over and urges an entirely different sort of musical argument altogether.

Graham Johnson at the piano is indefatigably intelligent, sensitive and musical. The disc includes, in addition to Schwanengesang, the five other songs that Schubert wrote in 1828. Michael Schade sings these, and very well done they are too, particularly Auf dem Strom in which he counterpoints his voice with the obligato horn part that Schubert added and Graham Johnson authentically includes.

Johnson, the real hero of this indispensable collection, plays here the coda of Herbst and typically resists the temptation to play such Brahmsian music in anything but a quintessentially Schubertian way.

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

 

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