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 2

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

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:12
2
3:38
3
2:51
4
2:36
5
2:44
6
1:53
7
6:14
8
3:28
9
3:13
10
2:51
11
4:31
12
2:07
Deutsche Gesänge (6), for voice & piano, op. 49
13
3:20
Sängerfahrt (Bard's Journey), Op. 33
14
3:04
15
0:54
16
4:40
17
3:27
18
3:49
19
2:00
20
4:22
21
3:24
22
1:38
23
2:19
24
2:02
25
3:22
26
2:22
blue highlight denotes track pick