Argentinean mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink goes from strength to strength. Her earliest discs were supremely elegant recordings of Haydn and Mozart, and her more recent discs have been deeply felt recordings of Wolf and Brahms. But this 2008 disc of 25 songs by Schubert is arguably her best disc yet. Though clearly deeply considered, Fink's readings here have a simplicity and directness coupled with an expressive intensity that cuts right to the heart of these songs. With her smooth control, her opulent tone, and her supple vibrato, Fink has a beautiful voice and an exquisite technique and she puts it wholly at the service of the music. Her glorious rapture in Ganymed, D. 544; her furious ecstasy in Gretchen am Spinnrade, D. 118; her serene bliss in Du bist der Ruh', D. 776; and her inner warmth in Im Abendrot, D. 799, is exactly what the music needs to succeed in exactly the right balance. Accompanied by able pianist Gerold Huber, this disc will bring pleasure to those who already know Schubert's songs as well as those who do not. Harmonia Mundi's sound is clean and close, but very evocative.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Claudine von Villa Bella, singspiel, D. 239|