Arleen Augér

Schubert: The Complete Songs, Vol. 9

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AllMusic Review by

There are many peaks in Graham Johnson's Schubert edition: Janet Baker's glorious Goethe and Schiller recital, Ian Bostridge's heartrending Die schöne Müllerin, Brigitte Fassbaender's terrifying program of songs on death, and on and on. But surely one of the highest peaks is also one of the least likely because while one might have guessed that soprano Arleen Augér would be a superb singer of Schubert's songs, who would have imagined that Schubert would have written so many dramatic songs and that they would be almost without exception of such extraordinarily high quality? Augér's performances of Schubert's Italian songs -- from the early Misero pargoletto (D. 42) through the masterful "Didone abbandonata" (D. 510) -- are magnificent: beautifully sung and intensely dramatic. And her performances of the excerpts from Schubert's early operas and singspiels are just as fine, albeit not perhaps as stunningly dramatic. But when Augér, Johnson, and clarinetist Thea King close the disc with Schubert's transcendent Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (D. 965), they close with what is certainly Schubert's most dramatic, most colorful, and most virtuosic song in a performance of unsurpassed excellence and joy. As always, Johnson's program notes are extensive, informative, and entertaining.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:29
2
4:32
Der vierjährige Posten, Singspiel, D. 190
3
4:54
Claudine von Villa Bella, singspiel, D. 239
4
1:22
5
1:22
Die Verschworenen, singspiel (Der häuslische Krieg), D. 787
6
3:08
Rosamunde, Fürstin von Cypern, incidental music, D. 797 (Op. 26)
7
3:50
8
2:04
9
2:27
10
3:21
11
5:42
Scenes (2) From Lacrimas, for voice & piano, D. 857 (Op. posth. 124)
12
4:54
Canzonen (4), for voice & piano, D. 688
13
3:03
14
3:08
15
2:02
16
2:32
17
2:10
18
3:24
19
3:16
20
1:45
21
12:15
blue highlight denotes track pick