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Robert A. Moore
American Record Guide, May 2012

Boesch has a dark and heroically commanding voice; it has marvelous agility for such a large voice that he can use with declamatory power and reduce dramatically to a mere whisper with stunning results. His voice is even from top to bottom with a secure lower register…The darker nature of many of the songs…make good use of his vocal gifts. His extraordinarily fine cantabile approach illuminates the entire program. Kehring is also fine as a collaborative artist. The quality of these readings ranks at the zenith of lieder singing. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Paul Turok
Turok’s Choice, June 2009

SCHUBERT, F.: Lied Edition 27 - Romantic Poets, Vol. 4 8.570067
SCHUBERT, F.: Lied Edition 30 - Poets of Sensibility, Vol. 6 8.570480
SCHUBERT, F.: Lied Edition 29 - Settings of Various Poets 8.570838

The complete Schubert songs, sparked by pianist Ulrich Eisenlohr, with young German singers and organized by types of poets (as was the 1816 edition of his songs) now contains Vol. 4 of settings of Romantic poets (8.570067) and Vol.6 of Poets of Sensibility (8.570480). A further volume, defying classification, is entitled Settings of Various Poets (8.570838), containing Adelwold und Emma, a text that sometimes nears doggerel, in a setting that takes nearly a half hour! It is surprisingly well sung by Ferdinand von Bothmer with Eisenlohr accompanying; the pianist also appears on Romantic Poets, with tenor Jan Kobow, who seems rather effete. The other disc features the fine baritone Florian Boesch and pianist Burkhard Kehring, who has appeared in the series before.

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, September 2008

Every time I listen to a new issue in this Schubert-Lied-Edition it strikes me what a wealth of mainly unsung gems there are hidden in Schubert’s oeuvre. We tend to hear roughly fifty, maybe one hundred, songs relatively frequently performed, live or on records. The rest pop up, if at all, only in complete surveys like the pioneering Hyperion series in the 1990s and the present series, which now seems to be on the final straight. This is volume 27 and it has to be ranked among the most desirable in the series and not only for unearthing several fascinating songs that should by right belong to the established Schubert canon. We also have Naxos to thank for introducing many listeners to a superb new Lieder singer. I had heard him a couple of times in opera recordings with Harnoncourt and reacted very positively then. Here he grabbed me by the throat from the first moment and never let go. His is a rich, darkish baritone, verging on bass-baritone, well equalized throughout his register, powerful and with dramatic potential, flexible and able to express subtle nuances. His diction is excellent. My colleague Evan Dickerson heard him at the Wigmore Hall in March 2007, and he drew a parallel with Hans Hotter “in a few key respects, being manly and solidly founded in the bass-baritone aspect of his voice, but with some elements of tenderness also present.”… My impression of him is that here is a singer in his early maturity who masters his means of expression to perfection.

…He is an expressive narrator too, a quality that comes to the fore in several of these songs, not least in the two ballad-like compositions that open the disc…Burkhard Kehring, with whom Boesch regularly appears shows here, as well as on some other issues in the same series, that he is in the same league. The recording is expertly balanced and contributes further to the value of this issue. It’s a pity the Schubert series is almost finished. Naxos will, I’m sure, find other worthy tasks for Florian Boesch in the near future: a Brahms cycle? Hans Hotter was masterly in Brahms and Vier ernste Gesänge could well be ideal for Boesch.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2008

In building this series of the complete songs of Schubert, Naxos is also creating a catalogue of present day German lieder singers, and here introduce us to Florian Boesch. With a background of opera appearances in major European theatres and concerts on both sides of the Atlantic, the baritone has specialised in Schubert, including appearances at the prestigious Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. His approach is founded on the heroic quality of his voice. He has chosen songs that generally require that tone, the dark Totengrabers Heimweh (Gravedigger’s Longing) with its spooky qualities just right for a voice so well supported deep into the lower register. More than most singers in this series he risks a wide dynamic range that descends to a mere whisper, his acting ability being used to the full. Indeed, it is a theatrical approach that I have so often missed in earlier releases. This mood continues into Im Walde (Forest Night), before Boesch switches to a head tone as the boatman lies in his boat dreaming through Schlegel’s poem Der Schiffer. The disc does have many mood swings, but this feel of sombre thoughts ends with Grablied fur die Mutter ( A mother’s funeral song), a work that reflects his sadness at his own mother’s early death. The only weakness in his performances are in moments when speech almost takes over from singing in his urge to characterise, the song Lebensmelodien (Melodies of Life) being an example of this failing. Boesch finds a kindred spirit in theatricality in the accompaniment of Burkhard Kehring, a pianist never afraid to make a powerful statement, and after you have become accustomed to the tonal quality of the instrument as recorded, the balance between the two is exemplary.

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