Werner Güra / Christoph Berner

Schubert: Schwanengesang

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

The songs of Schwanengesang were among Schubert's final compositions. He had completed two short sets of songs with texts by Ludwig Rellstab and Heinrich Heine, and after his death his publisher combined them with a final song set to a text by Johann Gabriel Seidl (perhaps to avoid the number of songs being 13) and called them Schubert's "Swansong." German tenor Werner Güra brings flexibility and a strongly dramatic sensibility to the cycle. He is capable of a focused and well-supported light sound as well as a powerful but controlled fortissimo in the music's most forceful passages. His tone is full and consistent in all but the very lowest reaches of a few of the songs, and his top is heroically resonant. Güra is fully invested in these songs and the variety of vocal colors he is capable of summoning ideally suits the cycle's wide emotional spectrum. Pianist Christoph Berner is a fully matched partner; his nuanced sense of momentum supports the mercurial shifts implicit in the composer's subtle harmonic and melodic twists. The sound quality is clean, but a little distant, and boosting the volume can help with that.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Schwanengesang (Swan Song), song cycle for voice & piano, D. 957
1
3:11 Amazon
2
5:06 Amazon
3
3:25 Amazon
4
3:57 Amazon
5
2:27 Amazon
6
6:02 Amazon
7
4:04 Amazon
8
2:11 Amazon
9
2:45 Amazon
10
2:27 Amazon
11
3:17 Amazon
12
4:03 Amazon
13
3:57 Amazon
14
4:03 Amazon
15
3:18 Amazon
16
3:00 Amazon
17
3:05 Amazon
18
3:19 Amazon
19
3:35 Amazon
20
2:14 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick