Sensitive but perhaps a bit too ripe, strong but a little too robust, baritone Oliver Widmer is still an admirable singer whose Schubert recital is almost always not quite entirely enjoyable. And even then, it's not exactly Widmer's fault, although it is certainly his responsibility for bravely programming Schubert's settings of Schiller's Die Erwartung and Schubert's Viola, incredibly tedious ballades that go on and on and on. When the repertoire is better, Widmer is more nearly convincing. His Erlkönig is powerfully dramatic until the final hushed line when Widmer slightly over acts. His Der Jüngling und der Tod is warmly lyrical, but with just a tad too much vibrato to be persuasive. His Heidenröslein is cheerfully enthusiastic, but a touch too much hearty warmth to be credible. With a bit more restrain, Widmer would be less individual, but perhaps a more convincing singer. He clearly already has the tone, the technique, and a fine accompanist in pianist Jan Schultsz. Berlin Classics' sound is rich and full and round.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
Des Fräuleins Liebeslauschen ("Hier unten steht ein Ritter"), song for voice & piano (Liebeslauschen), D. 698
Die Erwartung ("Hör ich das Pförtchen nicht gehen?"), song for voice & piano, D. 159 (Op. posth. 116)