One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Part-Songs - Volume 2
Gott in der Natur D.757 [5:38]
Der 23 Psalm Op 132 D.706 [5:03]
Das Leben D269 [1:37]
La pastorella al prato D513 [2:00]
Naturgruß D422 [3:55]
Beitrag zur fünfjährigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri D407 [6:05]
Licht und Liebe D352 [4:26]
Antigone und Ödip Op 6/2 D542 [5:32]
Linde Weste wehen (fragment) D725 [0:41]
Kantate zum Geburtstag des Sängers Johann Michael Vogl D666 [9:45]
Klage un Ali Bey D140 [4:34]
Gondelfahrer Op 28 D809 [3:36]
Coronach Op 52/4 D836 [5:32]
Bootgesang Op 52/3 D835 [4:04]
Ständchen Op 135 D920 [5:49]
Sibylla Rubens, Silke Schwarz (sopranos); Regina Jakobi, Ingeborg Danz, Hildegard Wiedmann (altos); Markus Schäfer, Marcus Ullmann (tenors); Thomas E Bauer, Markus Flaig, Marcus Schmidl (basses); Ulrich Elsenlohr (piano)
rec. August-Everding-Saal, Grünwald, Germany, 16-23 April 2008
NAXOS 8.570962 [67:17]

Experience Classicsonline

I do not know why Ulrich Eisenlohr, the pianist and mastermind behind the Naxos Schubert Song Edition, decided to separate the part-songs from the solo songs. In this he differs from the practcie observed in the Hyperion edition. Also I do not know the basis on which he divided them up over three discs. What I do know is that as far as this second volume is concerned it works, being admirably varied in content, both in the mixture of voices involved and in the character of the various songs. “Songs” is perhaps a misnomer, as there are also two more complex works written to celebrate respectively the fiftieth birthday of Salieri, Schubert’s teacher, and the fifty-first birthday of Michael Vogl, the singer and friend of Schubert. The former is almost comic in its succession of a brief trio, aria and canon, all in what seems a deliberately basic manner designed to show off the simple stuff that Salieri had taught him. The latter by way of contrast is both longer and more complex in its structure. Both are clearly occasional pieces but worth hearing once in a while.

The disc does however contain several real masterpieces, including the delightful and deceptively simple-sounding setting of Psalm 23 often sung by boy or female choirs and the Coronach to words from Scott’s “The Lady of the Lake”. The delicious Serenade starts and ends with the effect of the serenader arriving and leaving, with a more complex middle section including the serenade itself. “Antigone und Ödip” is a duet of almost operatic manner between the two characters after their arrival in Colonus. “Gott in der Natur” is highly, possibly excessively, dramatic. The remainder of the disc gives an indication of the range of Schubert’s song-writing abilities, albeit containing few other dramatic songs. The disc nonetheless works well as a whole, with almost every item having something of interest and most having a great deal more than that. Perhaps I could have done without the “Klage un Ali Bey” which seems much longer than its four or so minutes. Ulrich Eisenlohr’s fascinating notes describe it as very funny and refer to Schubert’s “congenial, apparently simple, yet profoundly calculated setting”. I suppose that it is possible to write comic songs about the murder of a Moslem Prince by his favourite but for me this example is neither funny nor very interesting. It is however only one item on a disc otherwise full of varied, interesting and frequently very beautiful music.

None of this would help if the performances were inadequate, but fortunately they are not. None of the singers struck me as being outstanding and some have voices that are less than first rate, but all understand the idiom and are capable of bringing out the individual character of the songs. Given that many were written for specific social occasions any lack of star quality in the individual voices is by no means inappropriate. Indeed too high powered an approach might easily sound like overkill. Above all, however, the presence of Ulrich Eisenlohr at the piano throughout guarantees the listener’s enjoyment. As with other great accompanists in this music, he has the ability to point the accompaniment without sounding fussy or losing sight of the character of the song as a whole. I have already referred to his admirable notes. Unfortunately there is no room in the booklet for the essential words of the songs or for translations. These are available on the Naxos website, which is less convenient but worth putting up with to make room for the notes and biographies of the singers. All in all, an entertaining exploration of some of the lesser known parts of Schubert’s output.

John Sheppard

see also review by Brian Wilson 

Naxos Schubert Lied edition review page















Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.