F.Schubert Schwanengesang, Piano Sonata D.960
(Schubert Edition, v.6)
Braying is for donkeys, bugling for elks, so what about Matthias Goerne? And more importantly, how is Goerne so much better recorded than live? When I heard him last in a Liederabend in Salzburg, he sounded like a wounded elk reciting a monologue from King Lear. (“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”, probably.) But in volume six of an already absolutely terrific Schubert Lieder survey, the German baritone is spellbinding in the early parts of “Schwanengesang”, full of swaying tenderness with buoyant accentuations, brief melancholic touches, and teasing, musical fermata. He’s laying it on thick and it works… and the tears are balanced by an inner smile.
F.Schubert, Schwanengesang, "Das Fischermädchen". Goerne/Eschenbach (excerpt, mp3 transfer)
F.Schubert, Schwanengesang, "Am Meer". Goerne/Eschenbach (excerpt, mp3 transfer)
No one would buy the disc for Eschenbach’s B-flat Major Sonata included as a bonus second disc. If you like your Schubert slow and end-of-the-world beautiful, you ought to have, though. There is nothing like it, apart from Hideyo Harada, perhaps. It’s amazing how Eschenbach finds the time to—obviously—practice when famous pianist-conductor colleagues don’t…
(Best of 2012 – Almost List)