SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Die schöne Müllerin, D 795 (Op. 25) (1823)
Andreas Post (tenor)
rec. Thürmer-Saal, Bochum, Germany, 3-5 September 2007
sung texts enclosed GENUIN GEN88117 [58:11]
duo on this recital is no newcomer in the CD catalogue. There
are at least another two issues available with Lieder as
well as some lighter fare. Light is also the adjective that
comes most readily to mind when I try to summarize the music-making
of these two young artists.
have several connotations; in my word-book it is primarily
a description of the actual sounds. Tatjana Dravenau has
a delicate touch and fleet finger-work though the piano tone
is a bit grey and dull as recorded. It might be the instrument
but a Bösendorfer normally has more colours than this. Anyway,
her playing is fresh and responsive and she is flexible in
a way that reveals that this is not a temporary partnership.
Post also belongs in the light category among recent German
lyric tenors – a field that is quite crowded at the moment.
It is a youthful voice and he often uses it with discrimination:
his soft singing is finely nuanced, he has a good legato
and he differentiates conscientiously between piano and forte.
But here I still have some objections. There are few dynamic
markings in Schubert’s songs in general and when there are
they are mainly confined to the piano part. Schubert leaves
a lot to the singer’s judgement and in my opinion Andreas
Post is prone to overdo dynamics in both extremes. His p becomes pp,
his f becomes ff. In other words his is a reading
that belongs more in the late 19th century expressionism.
There are advantages of course and we have learnt from Fischer-Dieskau
and others that wide dynamics do not necessarily conflict
with Schubert’s intention. But where Fischer-Dieskau also
invests his readings with expressive word-painting, Andreas
Post rarely goes very far under the surface. He certainly
has the measure for these songs, he is far from inexpressive
and he does change his tone colour at key moments, e.g. at
the end of Am Feierabend, where he towards the end
darkens his voice admirably at Euer Werk hat mir gefallen.
He is responsive to the text and his voice possesses
both beauty and intensity but the extreme dynamics too often
result in crooned pianissimo and strident fortissimo. Listen
to Die böse Farbe to see what I mean. It is over-emphatic.
There is also a tendency that he is unnecessarily fast sometimes.
Compared to other readings that I find ideal it’s often only
a matter of seconds but this little difference can be enough
to make one reading feel rushed and another relaxed.
what I have written above seems like a write-off I have expressed
myself clumsily. There is a lot to admire here. Wohin? is
as youthfully expectant as one could wish; Morgengruss is
soft and inward with more emphasis and eagerness in the fourth
stanza; Pause is both beautiful and intense; Eifersucht
und Stolz is nervously aggressive. The last four songs
are regrettably the least attractive. I don’t know if they
were recorded chronologically but here it seems that he loses
concentration, the tone is more forced and the readings seem
not a top contender in the Müllerin race – the field
is certainly crowded – it is still a version that has its
merits and it is only when setting a newcomer against well
established readings that possible shortcomings are highlighted.
Among recent tenor recordings of Die schöne Müllerin I
still rate Jan Kobow’s version – with fortepiano accompaniments
and discreet embellishments of the song line – very highly,
but I have a brand new recording with Christoph Prégardien
waiting in the review pile, so readers in urgent need of
a new Müllerin are advised to be patient and await
that review before taking action.
is a good essay by Dr. Stefan Nagel and the German texts
but alas no translations. The recorded sound, bar the somewhat
dull piano sound, cannot be faulted.
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