"Winterreise"

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Belle
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"Winterreise"

Post by Belle » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:55 pm

A couple of friends were here for lunch yesterday, one sporting a Jonas Kaufmann CD of Schubert's "Winterreise". He wanted to try it out on my hi-fi equipment and waxed lyrical about Kaufmann. I was disappointed but remained diplomatic!! My go-to in this song cycle is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, no matter what version. However not all agree:

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/06/the ... r-dieskau/

I love it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8UDOmUcxCk

Anyway, back to Kaufmann. His voice is too lyrical for me for this repertoire, but I could probably get used to it with enough exposure. What do you think? (Is it my imagination or is the piano slightly ahead in the first offering, 'Gute Nacht'?). In 'Die Krähe' the operatic tenor is on display without the foreboding which is characteristic, for me, of this lied:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh1Ky7gj4vw

John F
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by John F » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:30 am

Presumably Kaufmann sings the cycle in Schubert's original keys, preserving the original key relationships between the songs. Fischer-Dieskau's high baritone may make that possible, though I've never checked it out. Some think this is an important issue, though I don't; for me the most profound and moving "Winterreise" is Hans Hotter's, particularly in the EMI recording with Gerald Moore.
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Belle
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by Belle » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:46 pm

I've listened to your choice and it's certainly better than Kaufmann, but I still prefer DF-D/Moore of 1961/2. Moore was a poet; you couldn't fault his playing!! I love DF-D's phrasing, dramatic qualities and his voice generally.

barney
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by barney » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:02 pm

These are my Winterreises, a good collection though it would pale into insignificance compared with collections such as Lance's. Every one of them has something to commend it. DFD is always hugely rewarding, but - as I say - I take pleasure in all these performances. Some here don't like Ian Bostridge, but I find him really sensitive. Hotter and Pears are both justly famed. I don't actually remember the Vickers - I should go and seek it out.
Josef Greindl bass, Hertha Klust pno
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Daniel Barenboim pno
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Gerald Moore pno
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Murray Perahia pno
Hans Hotter bass-bar, Erik Werba pno
Ian Bostridge ten, Leif Ove Andsnes pno
Jon Vickers ten, Geoffrey Parsons pno
Matthias Goerne bar, Alfred Brendel pno
Matthias Goerne bar, Graham Johnson pno
Olaf Bar bar, Geoffrey Parsons pno
Peter Pears ten, Benjamin Britten pno
Peter Schreier ten, Sviatoslav Richter pno
Wolfgang Holzmair bar, Imogen Cooper pno

Lance
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by Lance » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:13 pm

Yes, I have too many, about 50 on CD and many more on LP. For me, Fischer-Dieskau and Hotter rise to the top for me in this repertoire, and always, when Gerald Moore is the pianist, there is even more benefit to those recordings. I love all three of Schubert's song cycles. How lucky are we to have so many great interpretations of a major song cycle such as Winterreise.
barney wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:02 pm
These are my Winterreises, a good collection though it would pale into insignificance compared with collections such as Lance's. Every one of them has something to commend it. DFD is always hugely rewarding, but - as I say - I take pleasure in all these performances. Some here don't like Ian Bostridge, but I find him really sensitive. Hotter and Pears are both justly famed. I don't actually remember the Vickers - I should go and seek it out.
Josef Greindl bass, Hertha Klust pno
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Daniel Barenboim pno
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Gerald Moore pno
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar, Murray Perahia pno
Hans Hotter bass-bar, Erik Werba pno
Ian Bostridge ten, Leif Ove Andsnes pno
Jon Vickers ten, Geoffrey Parsons pno
Matthias Goerne bar, Alfred Brendel pno
Matthias Goerne bar, Graham Johnson pno
Olaf Bar bar, Geoffrey Parsons pno
Peter Pears ten, Benjamin Britten pno
Peter Schreier ten, Sviatoslav Richter pno
Wolfgang Holzmair bar, Imogen Cooper pno
Lance G. Hill
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John F
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by John F » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:56 pm

Hotter sang "Winterreise" over 100 times in his career, and there are recordings from every phase. The earliest, made for German Radio during the war with Michael Raucheisen, gives us his voice in its best estate, and he was already a cogent interpreter of the cycle. Then came the EMI version with Gerald Moore in the 1950s, a trade-off between increased depth and some wear in the voice. DG recorded him and Erik Werba a decade or so later, when the voice was definitely showing its age, and there's a Japanese Columbia version with Hans Dokoupil in his 70s which I have, because I've collected all of Hotter that I could get, but I can't listen to.

I don't rate any of Fischer-Dieskau's "Winterreise" recordings as highly as many do, because for me his bright, high-placed voice doesn't suit this dark music. Of the ones I've heard, the DVD with Alfred Brendel comes closest to what I want to hear, but not close enough.
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Belle
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by Belle » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:57 am

Lovely comments; thanks John. I really value your ideas on this as I do not have that kind of extensive listening of recorded music.

FWIW, what did you think of Jonas Kaufmann's version?

John F
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by John F » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:15 am

I hadn't listened to it, and I still haven't heard most of it. With a recording, I usually begin at the end, with "Die Nebensonnen" and "Der Leiermann," and I'm much impressed with Kaufmann's singing (less so with the heavy-handed accompaniment by Helmut Deutsch). There are two versions on YouTube; the one I listened to is from a 2004 concert.

Kaufmann doesn't just sing the notes, he's inside the character and the situation. One detail: in "Der Leiermann," at "und die Hunde knurren um den alten Mann," the trilled r in "knurren" is prolonged to evoke the growling of the dogs. That's a Hans Hotter effect, but if Kaufmann learned it from Hotter, he went to the right school. I still prefer a low voice in this music, and there are moment-to-moment inflections in Hotter's tone of voice and an intimacy in his singing that are apparently beyond Kaufmann (and most other singers). But Kaufmann is definitely worth a hearing, and when I have time, I'll listen to the rest of the recording.
John Francis

Allen
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by Allen » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:36 am

John
Mine is the Hotter / Moore EMI version you cited, and I love it with all my heart.
Thanks for endorsing this version.

maestrob
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by maestrob » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:01 pm

I've come to this thread late, and the only comment is that I agree with JohnF about Hotter. I don't have the Kaufman, but I admire him tremendously and from what I've heard (thanks, Belle!), I'll probably get his version as well.

The 1942 Hotter version is currently available on amazon:

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jbuck919
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:26 pm

In current times, it is a tribute to any vocal artist who has a huge operatic career, as well as to his pure love of great music and essential artistry, that he would sing Lieder at all. Although it is a little more a matter of someone who is over the hill, here is another example.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by John F » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:53 pm

Though Hotter studied with an opera singer, Matthäus Roemer, who had sung the role of Parsifal at Bayreuth, he says that most of the work was with Lieder, and that he only studied operatic roles later. No doubt this is one reason why Hotter's Wotan etc. make so much of the words, not just as diction but in the coloring of the voice. Similarly with Fischer-Dieskau, who says he alternated between songs and opera in six-month periods. We in America wouldn't have known that, as he sang hardly any opera here, but especially in Berlin and Munich his Mozart and Verdi were very well known.

I haven't been to that many "Winterreise" performances, but one that's memorable was by Thomas Quasthoff and Daniel Barenboim in Berlin's Philharmonie. That's on DVD so others can share it too. Quasthoff's retirement was a great loss, for me he was the most communicative Lieder singer of his generation, but it's understandable.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by Belle » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:10 pm

John F wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:53 pm
Though Hotter studied with an opera singer, Matthäus Roemer, who had sung the role of Parsifal at Bayreuth, he says that most of the work was with Lieder, and that he only studied operatic roles later. No doubt this is one reason why Hotter's Wotan etc. make so much of the words, not just as diction but in the coloring of the voice. Similarly with Fischer-Dieskau, who says he alternated between songs and opera in six-month periods. We in America wouldn't have known that, as he sang hardly any opera here, but especially in Berlin and Munich his Mozart and Verdi were very well known.

I haven't been to that many "Winterreise" performances, but one that's memorable was by Thomas Quasthoff and Daniel Barenboim in Berlin's Philharmonie. That's on DVD so others can share it too. Quasthoff's retirement was a great loss, for me he was the most communicative Lieder singer of his generation, but it's understandable.
Agree about Quasthoff. Have you seen this film, John? Beautiful voice and lovely face (despite the self-deprecating remarks he's made about it)!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCNl7FJg8ds

I especially love him singing "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" from "Saint Matthew Passion".

Lance
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by Lance » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:13 pm

I'm uncertain of the source for the Music & Arts release Hotter release. However, DGG issued Winterreise on CD [437 351]. I stuck with the DGG recording on this 1942/3 issue. I believe they are the same performances. Please advise if otherwise.
maestrob wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:01 pm
I've come to this thread late, and the only comment is that I agree with JohnF about Hotter. I don't have the Kaufman, but I admire him tremendously and from what I've heard (thanks, Belle!), I'll probably get his version as well.

The 1942 Hotter version is currently available on amazon:

Image
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by John F » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:38 am

It's part of a massive Lieder project organized by Michael Raucheisen and broadcast on Berlin radio in the 1940s. You've probably also seen or got all those LP sets of Lieder by other composers - Brahms, Wolf, Strauss, Schumann, et al. The sound is excellent because by 1942, German radio had and was using the Magnetophon, the original tape recorder.

Belle - no I haven't. Thanks for the link.
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slofstra
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Re: "Winterreise"

Post by slofstra » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:08 pm

I have these:
Choral Winterreise D 911 Schreier; Richter 733 Bach
Choral Winterreise D 911 Fischer-Dieskau; Moore 148
Choral Winterreise D 911 Hotter 614 Bach
Choral Winterreise D 911 Padmore; Lewis 720
Choral Winterreise D 911 Goerne 628
Choral Winterreise D 911 Fischer-Dieskau; Perahia 731

The Hotter recording is with Gerald Moore from 1954, and is included in the EMI ICON - Hotter set. My favourite recording from this set is 'Ich Habe Genug' which I doubt will ever be surpassed. (Why does this new format cut words in half?)

he Fischer-Dieskau/ Moore recording is also essential. The one with Perahia was quite bad, if memory serves.
I like the Padmore/ Lewis recording quite a bit, although not as much as the older two everyone mentions, but can't offer more from memory.
The Goerne recording is in the complete Schubert lieder traversal on Hyperion with Graham Johnson. And the Schreier recording, which can be found in the 53 CD Richter Decca box - again no specific recollection. I'm actually very curious to hear that again.

What I need to do is index my listening journal so I can find things. When I do I may contribute more, but I couldn't resist a few comments on a piece I listen to quite often.

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