Schubert: Winterreise

Michael Southern
Pittwater Life (Australia)

I don’t know how many recordings of Winterreise are currently available. The answer probably lies somewhere in the hundreds and every singer of any note has made at least one, and in some instances several recordings of this masterpiece. Schubert completed it a year before his death and was still refining it up to his death. So do we need another? In this case the answer is undoubtedly yes: this is a Winterreise that had to be produced, featuring two young but mightily talented Australians who take a fresh look at this haunting cycle of unrequited love.

Forget the performances for a moment and just listen to the wonderful sound on the SACD compatible disc. Even on good old stereo it is clear to the softest consonant of Davislim and every note from the piano of Romaniuk. There is a fresh look of youth about the performance which is a bit slower at 80 minutes than most but it is ever so rewarding.

Melba’s recording ranks among the first choices for this cycle for both performance and sound. A wonderful set of notes and the song translations are in big easy to follow typeface.