Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Schwanengesang

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Schwanengesang

Article excerpt

Schubert

Schwanengesang, D957. Gesange des Harfners (Harfenspieler)--D478; D479; D480. Grenzen der Menschheit, D716. Prometheus, D674

Florian Boesch bar Malcolm Martineau pf

Onyx [M] ONYX4131 (67' * DDD * T/t)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Florian Boesch is never a singer to take for granted. In Schwanengesang he changes the (posthumously) published order of both the Rellstab and Heine groups so that each charts a gradually darkening landscape. There is no place for the charming, wistful 'Die Taubenpost'. But then charm is not Boesch's way. In songs that call for a smile in the tone he sounds nonchalant, almost detached, bending rhythms, shortening sustained notes and sometimes resorting to a conversational parlando. I hear neither roguishness nor amorous yearning in 'Das Fischermadchen'. In 'Standchen' he makes the most casual, laid-back of seducers.

The songs of loss and alienation that predominate are a different matter. I would still have preferred a truer legato in 'Ihr Bild' and 'Am Meer'. But abetted by Malcolm Martineau's imaginative, clean-textured playing, Boesch unfurls his full expressive and dynamic range to compelling effect. …

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