Various Artists

The Songmakers' Almanac Schubertiade

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AllMusic Review by

When these discs were recorded back in 1983, little did the unsuspecting public realize that this was a test run for one of the greatest projects in the history of recordings: a complete edition of all Schubert's songs with piano accompaniment. All the public knew was that here were two of the sweetest, kindest, and most generous discs of Schubert yet released, two discs of some of the most beautiful songs ever composed sung by the crème de la crème of British singers accompanied by Graham Johnson, the masterful pianist who would shortly mastermind the complete edition of all Schubert's songs with piano accompaniment. That was all anyone needed to know. Felicity Lott's Auflösung (D. 807) is as overwhelmingly powerful a performance of that mighty song as has ever been recorded. Ann Murray's Nacht und Träume (D. 827) is a rapturously luminous rendering of that blissful song as has ever been recorded. Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Ann Murray's Mignon und der Harfner (D. 877/1) is as heartrending a performance of that melancholy song as has ever been recorded. Rolfe Johnson's Nähe des Geliebten (D. 162) is as sensual a performance of that voluptuous song as has ever been recorded. Richard Jackson's Zum Punsche (D. 492) is as funny a performance of that hilarious song as has ever been recorded. And as for the concluding Der Hochzeitsbraten (D. 930) by Lott, Rolfe Johnson, and Jackson, it's easily the most lascivious recording of that almost lubricious song as has ever been recorded. This is as great a Schubertiad as has ever been recorded.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:50
2
5:36
3
3:30
4
1:53
5
1:05
6
4:03
7
2:18
8
3:03
9
3:27
10
1:31
11
3:54
12
3:27
13
4:00
14
4:27
15
1:29
16
2:33
17
8:15
18
3:14
blue highlight denotes track pick