The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (98): Winter’s end

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (98): Winter’s end


norman lebrecht

June 22, 2020

The end of Schubert’s Winterreise.

Never bettered.


  • Thomas Quasthoff is artistic leader of our Berkenrode project where young singers reside one week in an estate in Heemstede where Quasthoff teaches them in art song. Seeing this reminds me Quasthoff is the best man in place to do so. Theo van den Bogaard, Grote Zangers

  • David K. Nelson says:

    What? I take “comfort” in the fact that such artistry exists but this, THIS is the death of hope. Der Lindenbaum is comfort (perhaps false comfort, but then, just maybe all comfort is false comfort) but not Der Leiermann. This song is as dangerous to the susceptible as “Gloomy Sunday.”

    I am glad I heard this of course.

    • E. says:

      It is strange. One evening, after hearing this in concert, I almost sent it to a good friend, as it had touched me deeply. I had to search for the meaning of of the title, and then, when I realized how the song might be taken, I held back. Now, though, several years later, I am willing to find comfort here, at « winter’s end. »
      What you write about « the susceptible » recalls Mahler’s question to Bruno Walter, about the end of one of his works: « Do you think people will just go home and shoot themselves?» The anguish in Schubert has a sobriety….
      It’s beautifully sung, as you say, and the singer’s heroism in singing goes beyond
      our gloomy Sundays.
      I am glad, with you, that we heard this.

  • Jay says:

    Follows in the foot steps of the great Souzay.
    Quasthoff makes it work in spite of piano thumper.

  • Akutagawa says:

    As an alternative, this may not be everybody’s cup of tea but I really like it

  • Bruce says:

    When I saw “The end of Schubert’s Winterreise. Never bettered,” I thought “It had better be that Quasthoff-Barenboim performance, otherwise it’s Norman going off the deep end again about some singer I never heard of.”