Florian Boesch / Malcolm Martineau

Schubert: Schwanengesang

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Published shortly after Franz Schubert's death in 1828, Schwanengesang is a collection of 14 lieder on seven texts by Ludwig Rellstab, six by Heinrich Heine, and one by Johann Gabriel Seidl, whose poem became Die Taubenpost, claimed to be Schubert's final song. Unlike most performances of Schwanengesang, which follow the published edition, baritone Florian Boesch's rearranged version on Onyx lacks Die Taubenpost, which was not included in Schubert's fair copy of the cycle. Instead, Boesch adds five songs on Sturm und Drang poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, making this recording somewhat controversial among purists. But Boesch and accompanist Malcolm Martineau have delivered a compelling interpretation of this unsettling collection, and overall, this expanded Schwanengesang has a greater scope and a more satisfying duration, comparable to the 20 songs of Die schöne Müllerin and the 24 songs of Winterreise. Boesch's powerful voice communicates the full range of Schubert's emotions, from the melancholy sweetness of Ständchen and the gentle lyricism of Das Fischermädchen to the bleak despair of Die Stadt and Der Doppelgänger, though his reedy tone and the darker quality of his vocal range add a degree of menace at times. This recording has received critical praise, so it is well worth hearing, notwithstanding differences of position on the song order.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Schwanengesang, D 957
1 2:48
2 3:38
3 3:23
4 4:18
5 5:08
6 2:50
7 5:04
8 4:56
9 3:30
10 4:18
11 2:09
12 6:36
Schwanengesang, D 957
13 2:16
14 3:47
15 2:34
16 2:50
17 4:03
18 2:08
blue highlight denotes track pick