How could it be less than ideal? The songs are among the greatest ever written: Gretchen am Spinnrade, Erlkönig, Nacht und Träum. The orchestrators are all superb composers: Brahms, Berlioz, Liszt, Webern, Reger. The singers are as good as it gets right now in German Lieder: the brilliant and sensual Anne-Sofie von Otter and the powerful and insightful Thomas Quasthoff. The conductor is arguably the greatest living conductor and the orchestra is his own trained instrument. How could it be less than ideal? It is ideal. Von Otter is terrifying in Gretchen am Spinnrade and terrified in Erlkönig, delightfully sly in An Sylvia and endlessly rapt in Nacht und Träum. Quasthoff is infinitely touching in Tränenregen and magnificently imperious as Prometheus, deeply affectionate in Du bist die Ruh and relentlessly heroic in An Schwager Kronos. Abbado brings out the best in every orchestration, but he particularly shines in the Brahms and sings in Webern and orchestrations. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe plays superbly and DG's sound is wonderful. This is an ideal Schubert recording.
Schubert: Lieder with Orchestra Review
by James Leonard