Peter Harvey / Gary Cooper

Schubert: Winterreise

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British baritone Peter Harvey is primarily a specialist in music of the Baroque, so it's no surprise that he brings the eye and ear of a musician concerned with period performance practice to Winterreise. His approach results in the use of a fortepiano instead of a modern instrument and the restoration of the composer's original key relationships, which are usually altered when the cycle is sung by a baritone rather than a tenor, for which it was written. What makes Harvey's version so outstanding, though, are the quality of his voice and the sensitivity of his interpretations. His technique is utterly secure and his velvety tone is regal and clarion, even, natural, and unmannered across his range. Especially impressive is his utterly velvety legato and the exceptional fluidity and suppleness of his phrasing. His expressive compass gives the cycle a searingly poignant emotional arc. The sound of the fortepiano that Gary Cooper uses, which employs a rare non-equal tuning system and has a slightly nasal color, takes a little getting used to, but once the ear is acclimated this seems like an ideal instrumental for Schubert. It does indeed have a range of dynamics, color, and articulation that fits this repertoire better than a contemporary piano could. The floating accompaniment to "Der Krahe," for instance, has rarely sounded so atmospherically airborne. Cooper brings an intelligence and inventiveness to the piano part that is well matched with Harvey's. For both its vocal and instrumental color and its interpretive sophistication, this is a Winterreise not to be missed. The immaculate sound of Linn's hybrid SACD is remarkably life-like and present.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Winterreise, Op. 89, D. 911
1 6:01 Amazon
2 1:51 Amazon
3 2:25 Amazon
4 3:03 Amazon
5 5:06 Amazon
6 4:32 Amazon
7 3:48 Amazon
8 2:07 Amazon
9 2:49 Amazon
10 3:44 Amazon
11 4:19 Amazon
12 2:47 Amazon
13 2:07 Amazon
14 3:05 Amazon
15 2:18 Amazon
16 2:15 Amazon
17 3:05 Amazon
18 0:48 Amazon
19 1:28 Amazon
20 4:18 Amazon
21 4:36 Amazon
1:21 Amazon
23 3:03 Amazon
24 3:32 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick