Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Die Winterreise D.911 [64:25]
Laurens Bogtman (baritone), Felix de Nobel (piano)
rec. November 1954, Bachzaal, Amsterdam
Song texts not included
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 524 [64:25]
This is about as forgotten a record as you could find. Laurens Bogtman (1900-1969) collaborated with Mengelberg before the war and is said to have been a great Bach singer. His only commercial recording, apart from the one under review, was in a St. Matthew Passion under Van der Horst. He was also a noted teacher; Aafje Heynis was among his pupils. Felix de Nobel (1907-1981) was better known as a conductor. He directed the Netherlands Chamber Choir from its inception in 1937 till 1972. As a pianist he also recorded a Schubert disc with Agnes Giebel.
Bogtman proves to have a well-rounded voice, without any special individuality. Whatever the date, interpretatively we are in the pre-Fischer-Dieskau era. The songs are well sung, with some nice half-tones here and there; “Die Lindenbaum” shows both artists at their best. Touches of vehemence are fewer and I thought “Die Post” particularly tame. Even those listeners who completely reject “interventionist” interpretation will surely expect this cycle to be a harrowing experience rather than a gently elegiac one. I didn’t reach the end drained of emotion and I didn’t get the impression that the performers had either.
It isn’t often that I write such a short review but I think this will do. It’s a pity Bogtman’s only lieder recording did not address rarer material, in which case his honest craft might still have had its uses. The recording is good for the date, though I noticed one or two curious changes of perspective. All in all, this revival only shows that some records have been forgotten because they weren’t especially good.
Masterwork Index: Winterreise
This revival only shows that some records have been forgotten because they weren’t especially good.