This volume of Graham Johnson's Schubert edition is called "The Young Schubert" and it includes songs written between 1810 and 1814 while the composer was between the ages of 13 and 16. It includes Schubert's first song, many of his composition exercises for Salieri, a patriotic hymn for the Austrian Army, and a few of Schubert's first shots at the art of writing art songs. Heck, it even includes a few songs that actually sound like Schubert. Lebenstraum (D. 1A) is not only Schubert's first song, it is probably his first written composition. But it is certainly one of his most prolix songs, rambling on for nearly 13 minutes in this as-convincing-as-possible-under-the-circumstances performance by Stephen Varcoe. But Philip Langridge's performance of Erinnerungen (D. 98) is as compellingly sung as anything on this volume of the Schubert edition and Catherine Wyn-Rogers does a superb job of making Ammenlied (D. 122) sound like a song that might have been written by Schubert. And the London Schubert Chorale's concluding "Viel tausend Sterne prange" (D. 642) makes it sound just like the luminous proto-pantheist hymn it is. Johnson's accompaniments are adroitly tailored for the music and his program notes are elegantly turned and endlessly entertaining.
The Young Schubert Review
by James Leonard
O combats, o désordre extrême! (arr. from Gluck's Echo et Narcisse), aria for voice & piano, D. Anh. II/3b
|Quell' innocente figlio, for voice(s) & piano (Aria dell' angelo), D. 17|
|Entra l'uomo allor che nasce, for voice & piano (Aria di Abramo), D. 33/1|
|Entra l'uomo allor che nasce, for two voices & piano (Aria di Abramo), D. 33/2|