Even though Thomas Meglioranza is an established operatic singer, his first recording on his own label is one of the great masterpieces of the art song: Franz Schubert's Die Winterreise. Praised for his insightful singing of Schubert by no less a judge than Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Meglioranza has a personal warmth and ecstatic vocal quality that immediately brings his distinguished colleague to mind. Accompanied by his frequent collaborator, pianist Reiko Uchida, Meglioranza sings with a convincing blend of rapt lyricism and wounded idealism, two characteristics that give Winterreise a heightened sense of tragedy that goes beyond mere heartache. The temptation to ignore the meaning of the words is strong, though, because Meglioranza's voice is almost too smooth and ethereal to stay grounded in Wilhelm Müller's dark texts for long. But pay close attention to the subtle expressions that Meglioranza brings to consecutive verses and to Uchida's controlled changes in dynamics and phrasing that communicate the emotional context and meaning. The sound of the recording is clear and focused, giving the musicians credible presence in a natural acoustic. This disc is a promising beginning for Meglioranza's label, and one may hope that the rest of Schubert's lieder appear on it soon.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Winterreise, D. 911|