Schubert: Winterreise

Bob Crimeen
Sunday Herald Sun (Australia)

Of the many song-cycles for male classical singers, Franz Schubert’s marathon 24-part Winterreise (Winter Journey) is the most harrowing.

Yet, despite the brutal challenge it presents, singers and their pianistic collaborators are drawn to Winterreise, hopefully overcoming its difficulties and producing the definitive recorded version ... there is much to enjoy—not least the extraordinary playback of the multichannel SACD format—in what might be the first all-Australian recording of Schubert’s musical adaptation of Wilhelm’s Muller’s poetic journey into abject human despair. No Winterreise library should be without Fischer-Dieskau, Pears, Quastoff, Hotter or Goerne, but for glorious sound quality, Melbourne’s own Melba trumps ‘em all.