On paper, the sixth volume of Anthony Rolfe Johnson's Schubert edition should have been one of the best volumes in the series. While it doesn't have any of Schubert's most popular songs on it, it does have some of his most beautiful and affecting songs on it. But, as importantly, it has Johnson on it, the tenor whose supple voice and subtle intelligence has been one of the glories of English music since the early '70s. But that's on paper: in reality, Johnson's voice is no longer so supple an instrument and he audibly strains in vain for some of the high notes. And while his intelligence and understanding can still carry many of the songs on this recital, his pained upper register disfigures the sweetly lilting Alinde (D. 904), damages the sublime Die Sterne (D. 939), and just about destroys the transcendent Des Fischers Liebesglük (D. 933). Graham Johnson's superb accompaniment cannot hide Anthony Rolfe Johnson's weak high end, but his program notes are so well written that one might find more enjoyment in the notes than in the recital.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
Willkommen und Abschied ("Es schlug mein Herz"), song for voice & piano (two versions), D. 767 (Op. 56/1)