Various Artists

Songs by Schubert's Friends & Contemporaries

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AllMusic Review by

Every now and then, Graham Johnson and some of his friends will drop by for a lieder recital. Sometimes he'll bring Christine Schäfer and Schumann. Other times he'll bring Felicity Lott and Chausson. And, for a long time, he brought just about every singer in Great Britain and Schubert. Johnson and his friends may stay for a few songs or they may stay all night, but they're always entertaining, often affectionate, and sometimes moving. In this three-disc set, Johnson and five fine singers have stopped by to perform 78 songs by Schubert's friends and contemporaries. Some of Schubert' friends and contemporaries, everybody's heard of -- Haydn, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn -- some of them only specialists have heard of -- Hüttenbrenner, Püttlingen, and Randhartinger -- and some of them have become the punch line of a joke only accompanists get -- Reichardt, Zumsteeg, and Zelter. In many cases, these composers knowingly or unknowingly set the same texts as Schubert. There are, for example, four Erlkönigs, four Rastlose Liebes, two Sehnsuchts along with a Heidenröslein, a Lindenbaum, a Dopplegänger, and a Leiermann. Except for Beethoven's two contributions and Haydn's singular contribution, none of these lieder are up to Schubert's -- but, then, how many lieder are up to Schubert's? But although none of the Erlkönigs here match Schubert's, they and the other lieder here are all interesting in their way -- particularly in these subtle, sensitive, and committed performances by Johnson and his friends -- Susan Gritton, Ann Murray, Stella Doufexis, Mark Padmore, and Gerald Finley. While those who don't already know Schubert's lieder are urged to start listening to them as soon as possible, those who do may find this set fascinating. Hyperion's sound is fresh, natural, and immediate.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:15 Amazon
2 01:36 Amazon
3 01:11 Amazon
4 01:37 Amazon
5 08:54 Amazon
6 02:19 Amazon
7 02:16 Amazon
8 10:29 Amazon
9 02:38 Amazon
10 02:24 Amazon
11 03:02 Amazon
12 04:02 Amazon
13 02:30 Amazon
14 02:29 Amazon
15 03:26 Amazon
Die Schweizerfamile, singspiel
16 02:31 Amazon
17 01:14 Amazon
18 01:35 Amazon
19 04:39 Amazon
An die ferne Geliebte, song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 98
20 02:45 Amazon
21 01:43 Amazon
22 01:50 Amazon
23 01:08 Amazon
24 02:25 Amazon
25 03:58 Amazon
26 02:15 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:47 Amazon
2 02:38 Amazon
3 01:36 Amazon
4 01:11 Amazon
5 03:22 Amazon
Die schöne Müllerin, liederspiele for voice & piano, Op. 11
6 01:59 Amazon
7 02:36 Amazon
8 01:55 Amazon
9 01:54 Amazon
10 02:19 Amazon
11 02:46 Amazon
12 04:38 Amazon
13 02:37 Amazon
Sechs Gesänge, for voice & piano, Op. 10
14 03:46 Amazon
15 02:22 Amazon
16 03:11 Amazon
17 01:36 Amazon
18 01:24 Amazon
19 01:45 Amazon
Ländlische Lieder, for voice & piano, Op. 80
20 03:10 Amazon
21 02:08 Amazon
22 02:26 Amazon
23 03:34 Amazon
24 02:58 Amazon
25 03:08 Amazon
26 02:21 Amazon
27 04:06 Amazon
28 03:25 Amazon
29 03:05 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 01:12 Amazon
2 03:38 Amazon
3 02:51 Amazon
4 02:36 Amazon
5 02:44 Amazon
6 01:53 Amazon
7 06:14 Amazon
8 03:28 Amazon
9 03:13 Amazon
10 02:51 Amazon
11 04:31 Amazon
12 02:07 Amazon
Deutsche Gesänge (6), for voice & piano, op. 49
13 03:20 Amazon
Sängerfahrt (Bard's Journey), Op. 33
14 03:04 Amazon
15 00:54 Amazon
16 04:40 Amazon
17 03:27 Amazon
18 03:49 Amazon
19 02:00 Amazon
20 04:22 Amazon
21 03:24 Amazon
22 01:38 Amazon
23 02:19 Amazon
24 02:02 Amazon
25 03:22 Amazon
26 02:22 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick