Some would say tenor Ian Bostridge, some would say baritone Matthias Goerne, but maybe most would say that it was soprano Christine Schäfer, who was the bright young star of Graham Johnson's Schubert edition, and that her Mignon songs were among the most fully realized and deeply despairing ever recorded and that her singing of the Schütz songs were among the most coyly sensual and lightly sexual ever recorded. This solo Schubert recital debut released in 1997 fulfilled the promise of the earlier recordings. Schäfer's light but dramatic voice, her controlled and concentrated tone, and her method acting interpretations all mark her as one of the finest of living Schubert sopranos. From the bliss of her Nacht und Träume (D. 827) to the ecstasy of her Die junge Nonne (D. 828), from her coquettish Der Schmetterling (D. 633) to her disingenuous Der Knabe (D. 692), from the rapture of her Im Abendrot (D. 799) to her arousing Nähe des Geliebten (D. 162B), Schäfer's Schubert recital is in the same league as some of the best recent Schubert recitals.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard