Winterreise, Die Schone Mullerin & Schwanengesang (CD) - Nathalie Stutzmann

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Winterreise, Die Schone Mullerin & Schwanengesang (CD) - Nathalie Stutzmann

Composer: Franz Schubert
Release Date: November 10, 2014
Artist: Nathalie Stutzmann 
Pianist: Inger Södergren
Label: Erato
Number of discs: 3

This magnificent recording brings together famed contralto
Nathalie Stutzmann and well-known pianist Inger Södergren performing some of the most intensely expressive songs in the Romantic tradition – Franz Schubert’s three major song cycles: Winterreise (Winter Journey), Die Schone Mullerin (The Miller’s Beautiful Daughter) and Schwanengesang (Swan Song).

This collaboration marks the 20th anniversary of Stutzmann’s musical partnership with Inger Södergren. In tandem, they prove to be masters of this musical genre, originally created by the composer.

Schubert was a prolific writer of the German songs for solo voice with accompaniment by piano and these are no more beautifully performed with sensitivity to words and music as by these two brilliant artists.

Each of the three collections is a journey, which in and of itself, is unimportant by comparison with the events experienced along the way according to scholars of Schubert.

Die Winterreise, which details the encounters of a traveler making his way through a winter setting, is comprised of twenty-four songs. It is an hour of intense complex music demanding constant emotional involvement and sung expertly by Stutzmann.

The sorrow of loss is translated with perfection by the contralto in
Die Schöne Müllerin, which tells of a journeyman, who has fallen in love with the Miller’s daughter, but is rejected by her in favor of a huntsman and finally drowns himself in the waters of the brook that has accompanied his romantic wandering.

Sadly, the songs of Schwanengesang were among Schubert's final compositions, which he began before his death and was published posthumously as his swan song and aptly entitled as such – Schwanengesang.

In her ravishing voice, Nathalie Stutzmann delivers a deeply felt and understood reading of these highly venerated works, while Inger Södergren is a fully matched partner. Her playing is sublime.

A true Schubertian, Stutzmann confides, “I couldn’t do without Schubert in my life.”


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