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“….Maltman’s ardent, impulsive, intensely “lived” performance, partnered and inspired by the everilluminating Johnson, should be heard by anyone who loves the cycle.”
So wrote Richard Wigmore in Gramophone Magazine of Christopher Maltman’s Die Schöne Müllerin. Released in April 2011, this was the first release of his complete Schubert song cycles project and was awarded an Editor’s Choice.
Recorded over a series of live dates, Maltman has collaborated with one of the world’s foremost authorities on the lieder repertoire, accompanist Graham Johnson. Maltman’s teaming with Johnson is a triumphant partnership with Maltman giving the accolade that he is the “definitive accompanist who leaves no stone unturned”.
Die Winterreise will be followed by Schwanengesang in 2012, the live performance of which was critically-applauded.
Maltman’s decision to undertake these substantial recordings as a live project was a considered choice: “the live recording experience is where the real beauty lies; the little points, the little imperfections, the emotional stress, give the performance an organic feel, a rawness. It dials everything back to the most important element – the live performance.”
Schubert Winterreise 'Gute Nacht'
Schubert Winterreise 'Die Wetterfahne'
Schubert Winterreise 'Gefrorne Tränen'
Schubert Winterreise 'Erstarrung'
Schubert Winterreise 'Der Lindenbaum'
Schubert Winterreise 'Wasserflut'
Schubert Winterreise 'Auf Dem Flusse'
Schubert Winterreise 'Rückblick'
Schubert Winterreise 'Irrlicht'
Schubert Winterreise 'Rast'
Schubert Winterreise 'Frühlingstraum'
Schubert Winterreise 'Einsamkeit'
Schubert Winterreise 'Die Post'
Schubert Winterreise 'Der Greise Kopf'
Schubert Winterreise 'Die Krähe'
Schubert Winterreise 'Letzte Hoffnung'
Schubert Winterreise 'Im Dorfe'
Schubert Winterreise 'Der Stürmische Morgen'
Schubert Winterreise 'Täuschung'
Schubert Winterreise 'Der Wegweiser'
Schubert Winterreise 'Das Wirtshaus'
Schubert Winterreise 'Mut!'
Schubert Winterreise 'Die Nebensonnen'
Schubert Winterreise 'Der Leiermann'
18th August 2011
“This is a live recording made in the Wigmore Hall in February 2010, remarkable for its robustness, force and energy. Maltman is the most virile, bitterly impassioned and angry of wanderers, whose determination is evident from the first bars of Gute Nacht to the final black desolation of Der Leiermann.”
21st August 2011
“Maltman is a likeable singer, with an easy, communicative manner, excellent diction — even when his German is less than idiomatic — and scrupulously musical instincts.”
4th September 2011
“Maltman gives a bleak, steadily paced account of Winterreise which is at once weighty and intense. This suits his dark-hued voice compared to other excellent but more febrile accounts...The thundering anguish of "Rückblick", the ghostly whispers of "Irrlicht" and the schizophrenic light-dark dreams of spring in "Frühlingstraum" mix depression, frustration and tenderness. This is true soul-singing.”
8th September 2011
“He gives a hard-hitting performance, and, as one might expect, it's exceptionally well characterised...Maltman roots his interpretation in the psychological specifics...Some of it is less than beautiful – as it should be...Graham Johnson is wonderful in this work. He follows every emotional utterance, beautifully illuminating Schubert's alignment of the winter landscape with the shifts and instabilities of the protagonist's psyche.”
22nd October 2011
“Maltman never gives a less than intelligent performance, and he skillfully dramatizes Schubert’s great song-cycle.”
“If Maltman is sometimes better at communicating the tenderness in Winterreise than the torture, there are moments in this subtle, insightful account where he lays bare the composer’s own syphilitic deterioration.”
“There are many good things in this live Wigmore Hall recital, not least Maltman's characterisation of despair and alienation in 'Wasserflut' and 'Rast' and Johnson's eloquent pianism.”
“When Maltman essays a mezza voce, his tone whitens; and sometimes, as in 'Die Nebensonnen', he sounds uncomfortable in the original key. But these drawbacks are outweighed by the beauty of Maltman's voice and his keen attention to the words...His crescendo on the last word of all, to match the forte phrase in the piano, is a brilliant touch. Admirable accompanist, excellent sound: well worth hearing.”
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