Schubert, Winterreise, M. Goerne, G. Johnson (1997)
Schubert, Winterreise (Live, Wigmore Hall), M. Goerne, A. Brendel (2004)
S. Youens, Retracing a Winter's Journey: Schubert's "Winterreise" (1991)
Goerne has tended to emphasize the deranged character of the narrator of this cycle, although there are ways to understand the story that do not involve the protagonist being mentally unbalanced. It was much the same here, with Eschenbach's willingness to push the envelope of rubato and musical individuality encouraging Goerne to take more time with each line, to give a broad range of dynamics and tone color to each song. His diction, of course, his love of the poetry was as clear and fervent as ever, and even without any break at the mid-point of the cycle, the intensity of both performers held one's attention unfailingly. Unpredictability was often the most important quality of some songs, like "Wasserflut," which had some almost crazed outbursts at the end, and the howl of rage at the end of "Auf dem Flusse." At the same time, in songs where the narrator turns nostalgically to memories of the past, Goerne tempered his voice toward a lighter, more tenor-like sound, a voice of happy youth. Only once did the range of the transposition used not sit comfortably in Goerne's voice, at the high notes on the refrain "Mein Herz!" in "Die Post."
Anne Midgette, From Matthias Goerne, phenomenal control in Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’ (Washington Post, March 7)
Tim Smith, An affecting journey to the soul of 'Winterreise' from Goerne, Eschenbach (Baltimore Sun, March 6)
Matthias Goerne and Michelle DeYoung join Christoph Eschenbach for a performance of Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle, with the National Symphony Orchestra, paired with the suite from The Miraculous Mandarin (March 8 and 10), in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.