Matthias Goerne's 2014 release of Winterreise concludes his series of Franz Schubert's lieder on Harmonia Mundi. This is the third recording Goerne has made of the song cycle, following his 1997 album with Graham Johnson on Hyperion, and a live recording released in 2004 on Decca, where he was joined by Alfred Brendel in a recital at Wigmore Hall. Here, Goerne and his accompanist, Christoph Eschenbach, deliver a subtle version that is full of intense darkness. The gloom and despair of the wanderer is increasingly conveyed in Goerne's singing, so by the end of the journey, the feeling of exhaustion in Der Wegweiser (track 20) and Der Leiermann (track 24) brings the point of the cycle across. The recording is reasonably close to the performers and they have credible presence, which enhances the songs' deeply personal expression. This recording attests to the continuing popularity of Winterreise, and it is one of the best of several versions to be released in 2014.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson