Winterreise: Schubert, Schäfer, Schneider.

It is snowing outside – quietly but very steadily – so a quick note on a (relatively) new record by Christine Schäfer – Ionarts provides an always insightful review of the record here: if you follow all the links in that post, you will spend at least an hour investigating the matter of Winterreise and its suitability for male/female voice.

If you had a chance to see Salzburg Festival production of The Marriage of Figaro (with Anna Netrebko), you might remember Christine Schäfer as Cherubino (DVD of that production is available) and, more recently, as Gretel in Met’s holiday production of Hansel and Gretel. It is appropriate to note, I think, that Christine Schäfer is not a newcomer to the operatic scene. I have her early (1995) recording of Robert Schumann’s songs (as a part of a great 9CD set “Songs of Robert Schumann” which I highly recommend) and I enjoy it very much. 

I am glad that she is finally getting some well-deserved attention, if only because she is also a dedicated performer of contemporary repertoire: Alban Berg’s Lulu, Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire and Boulez’s Pli selon pli are among her recordings.  With all the excitement surrounding Netrebko, I’d like to see her try something by Webern, Berg or Boulez, then I will be sold completely.


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