There is no shortage of recordings of Schubert song highlights, but this one by tenor Ilker Arcayürek is a standout. Arcayürek is a little less exotic than he sounds; born in Istanbul, he is fully Austrian trained, and is an alumnus of the Vienna Mozart Boys' Choir. His German reveals no trace of an accent, and the strong point of his performance is natural text engagement. Arcayürek's performance, in fact, although he has moved to Britain and become a BBC 3 New Generation Artist, falls into a long Austrian-German tradition that prizes naturalness of phrasing and diction. If you've been waiting for a young tenor to pick up the baton from the days of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, give Arcayürek a try. His program is loosely tied together by resting on the song Der Einsame, D.800 as a fulcrum, with its text by Karl Lappe depicting a contentedly solitary figure by a fire. You might start sampling here; the program perks up a bit prior to that, but at the end goes deeper into reverie, and Arcayürek sounds positively philosophical. Other strengths, each reinforcing the effect of the whole, are the restrained accompaniment of Simon Lepper and the wonderful chamber-dimension recording of the Champs Hill label at their Sussex music room. Top-notch Schubert.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim