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Franz Schubert – The Complete Songs (FLAC)

Franz Schubert - The Complete Songs (FLAC)
Franz Schubert – The Complete Songs (FLAC)

Number of Discs: 37
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Hyperion
Release: 2005
Size: 9.87 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Vol. 01 – Janet Baker
Vol. 02 – Stephen Varcoe
Vol. 03 – Ann Murray
Vol. 04 – Philip Langridge
Vol. 05 – Elizabeth Connell
Vol. 06 – Anthony Rolfe Johnson
Vol. 07 – Elly Ameling
Vol. 08 – Sarah Walker
Vol. 09 – Arleen Auger
Vol. 10 – Martyn Hill
Vol. 11 – Brigitte Fassbaender
Vol. 12 – Adrian Thompson
Vol. 13 – Marie McLaughlin
Vol. 14 – Thomas Hampson
Vol. 15 – Margaret Price
Vol. 16 – Thomas Allen
Vol. 17 – Lucia Popp
Vol. 18 – Peter Schreier
Vol. 19 – Felicity Lott
Vol. 20 – An 1815 Schubertiad
Vol. 21 – Edith Mathis
Vol. 22 – An 1815 Schubertiad 2
Vol. 23 – Christoph Prégardien
Vol. 24 – A Goethe Schubertiad
Vol. 25 – Ian Bostridge, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Vol. 26 – An 1826 Schubertiad – Christine Schäfer, John Mark Ainsley & Richard Jackson
Vol. 27 – Matthias Goerne
Vol. 28 – An 1822 Schubertiad – Maarten Koningsberger & John Mark Ainsley
Vol. 29 – Marjana Lipovšek
Vol. 30 – Winterreise – Matthias Goerne
Vol. 31 – Christine Brewer
Vol. 32 – An 1816 Schubertiad
Vol. 33 – The Young Schubert
Vol. 34 – Schubert 1817-1821
Vol. 35 – Schubert 1822-1825
Vol. 36 – An 1827 Schubertiad – Juliane Banse, Lynne Dawson, Michael Schade & Gerald Finley
Vol. 37 – The Final Year – John Mark Ainsley, Anthony Rolfe Johnson & Michael Schade

In the autumn of 2005 Hyperion released their complete Schubert song edition, some 18 years after they started recording. The composition of these songs spanned the same number of years. Between Lebenstraum … gesang in c”, a fragment dating from 1810 when he was thirteen and Der Taubenpost written a few weeks before his death late in 1828, Schubert set over 700 texts, mostly solo songs but also part songs and for ensemble. Almost all were with piano accompaniment. Everything that has survived is included. The edition is more than complete since it also includes a three-disc anthology of songs by Schubert’s friends and contemporaries, many of which are settings of the same texts Schubert used. In all there are forty discs and more than sixty solo singers participated but only one pianist – the indefatigable Graham Johnson. This project is his brainchild and he is the artistic mastermind.

In 1985, over dinner, Johnson was asked by Ted Perry, founder of Hyperion records what he most wanted to record. “All Schubert songs” was the answer and apparently Perry agreed immediately. He was a visionary man for whom making worthwhile records johnjohwas more important than money. Johnson devised the programmes and started auspiciously with a disc sung by Janet Baker. Apparently contractual difficulties had prevented her from joining Fischer-Dieskau in making a complete Schubert song edition for another label some years earlier. Although it was late in her career, she was still in fine voice. It was, however, too late for Fischer-Dieskau to sing although in 1995 he narrated the songs from Die Schöne Müllerin that Schubert didn’t set. This was for Ian Bostridge’s recording of that work.

Many a Schubert lover will have collected these discs individually as they have been released over the last twenty years. One of us (JQ) did so and the other (PW) acquired the complete set shortly after it was released. Although we both have exactly the same recorded material, there are important differences in presentation, which will be discussed in the reflections given below. It is still possible to acquire the original discs individually, and therefore to pick and choose. Some guidance on the most desirable of them is included. But anyone who has few or none of these discs and wants to discover the whole oeuvre will surely be driven to acquire the box, the cost of which is about a third as much as buying the discs separately. This will not represent unwarranted completism. Schubert was surely the greatest songwriter of them all and the singers, Johnson and Hyperion here combined to do full justice to his work.

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