Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: 'Ladies Only-Love and Lament'

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: 'Ladies Only-Love and Lament'

Article excerpt

'Ladies Only--Love and Lament' Claudine von Villa Bella, D239--Arietta di Claudine. Delphine, D857. Ellen's Erster Gesang, D837. Ellen's Zweiter Gesang, D838. Ellen's Dritter Gesang, D839. Gretchen am Spinnrade, D126. Gretchen's Bitte, D564. Iphigenia, D573. Die junge Nonne, D828. Kolma's Klage, D217. Lied der Anne Lyle, D830. Rosamunde, D797--Axa's Romanze. Suleika's Erster Gesang, D720. Suleika's Zweiter Gesang, D717. Viola, D786 Nienke Oostenrijk sop Marianne Boer pf

Cobra (F) COBRA0052 (75' * DDD * T)

This is a disc I rather wish I weren't reviewing. There's a fine line between artlessness and blandness in Schubert, and one that Nienke Oostenrijk fails to locate. Time and again I was struck by the gulf between what the Dutch soprano writes in her perceptive booklet-notes (acknowledging a debt to Fischer-Dieskau, Graham Johnson et al) and what I hear. Her shallow, girlish timbre might be effective in early music, though I don't care for her habit of starting longer notes 'straight' and then applying vibrato fulsomely. The opening 'Gretchen am Spinnrade' sets the tone. While any singer must convey a measure of innocence and vulnerability, Oostenrijk's extreme of naivety seems simply inadequate. …

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