We informed you a few months back of a website that gives all you could ever want about Schubert’s Winterreise cycle.
Its developer Iain C. Phillips has now added a companion site for Die schöne Müllerin: https://dieschoenemuellerin.online.
Wow, that’s certainly a labour of love. I enjoyed the introductory poem in the Text section of the site. I didn’t know a prologue existed
It’s much easier to identify the ultimate “Die schöne Müllerin” than the ultimate “Winterreise”. This is because Fritz Wunderlich never recorded a “Winterreise”. All you have to do in order to identify the ultimate “Die schöne Müllerin” is listen to Fritz Wunderlich’s recordings and decide which is best.
Once you hear Fritz sing it, you don’t really need to hear anyone else. Just as there is no speed faster than the speed of light, there is also no Schubert-singer better than Fritz.
(Having said that, I wouldn’t mind listening to Helmut Krebs, or Walther Ludwig, or Brigitte Fassbaender.)
Recordings of Schubert’s Wilhelm Mueller cycles have come a long way since Lotte Lehmann and Richard Tauber. Fritz Wunderlich is the ideal “Schoene Muellerin” of any German tenor, as Kremlin exile says, but I too would be glad to hear Walther Ludwig. The Danish tenor Aksel Schiotz recorded it with Gerald Moore. Baritone Gerhard Huesch did both cycles in a manly, stand-and-deliver way with Hans Udo Mueller. I think they were the first to record both complete cycles.
Fischer-Dieskau’s earlier “Schoene Muellerins” are beautifully sung in much detail. In a later version he read the prologue and poems Schubert did not set.
Hans Hotter’s ‘Winterreise” is darkly powerful . I”ve enjoyed Gerhaher and some of Liszt’s transcriptions, particularly Finnish pianist Antti Siirala’s Wanderer on his Naxos Schubert recital.
I meant eto mention the light Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair’s records of the cycles also, beautiful voice, ideal way with the words, estensibly simple and direct, very musical.
Pregardien’s cycles have the advantage of the marvelous composer-pianist, Michael Gees.
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