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David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2010

Having been premature in already welcoming the final disc in this complete recording of Schubert’s Lieder, I can with certainty describe this as the very last volume. It gathers together all the song fragments, first thoughts, discarded second thoughts and uncompleted draughts. It goes so far as to include a song that had no words, and comes from Schubert’s thirteenth year and would have been his first song. All attempts to find words that would fit and might have been known to him at the time have failed. Maybe it was an early attempt at an aria, for it certainly is of the substantial length required. Here the vocal line is given to the cello of Daniel Grosgurin, who ‘sings’ eloquently through this episodic piece. We also have words spoken for which no music exists at the unfinished close of Lebenstraum, and the musicologist Peter Reinhard van Hoorickx has helped in completing some of the fragments. That Schubert entertained ideas of extending the scope of lieder comes in Zur Namensfeierr des Herrn and Auf den Sieg der Deutschen, the accompaniment coming in a mix of harp and violins. Such a disc has to be intended for those with a very deep interest in the composer, though in the more substantial songs, such as Das grosse Halleluja, there is much to enjoy. The soprano, Sibylla Rubens, and baritone, Detlef Roth, are reliable soloists, with Ulrich Eisenlohr placing his highly intelligent accompaniments at this final act of service to the composer. Good sound quality from a Bavarian Radio recording.

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