This fine Goethe collection is one of the first of a proposed series of Schubert Lieder discs masterminded for Naxos by the pianists Stefan Laux and Ulrich Eisenlohr. They aim to choose only German-speaking singers from the younger generation, and Ulf Bästlein certainly qualifies. His is a firm, warm baritone, which he uses most sensitively, shading tone and dynamic with fine feeling for words, as in his rapt account of Meeres Stille (‘Becalmed’). Though the selection includes the popular favourite Heidenröslein, and such masterly songs as An den Mond (both settings) and Ganymed, the choice is imaginative, and it is good to have such multiple settings of the same works, sensitively contrasted by singer and pianist. Unlike many bargain discs of Lieder, this offers full texts and translations.
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