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You Could Say That He Made An Impression

Having learned of a CD that contained a recording of "Nachthelle," possibly my favorite piece of choral music, I ordered the Hyperion album entitled An 1826 Schubertiad. The first cut on the CD is "Der Einsame" ("The Solitary"), which, despite its shall-we-say introspective title, is all about crickets, and, but for one isolated outburst, quite jolly. I pricked my ears at the piano introduction, and the moment the singing began, I saw baritone Thomas Meglioranza singing it.

At Tomness, Mr Meglioranza has written about a favorite Schubert song that I didn't happen to know, and I wondered if "Der Einsame" was the one. So I wrote to Tom and asked. And Tom was kind enough to remind me that I have seen him singing it, at the Naumburg competition last spring. (Because there were no programs, my recollection of the competition is somewhat inarticulate.)

You could say that Tom made an impression.

The song that Tom was talking about that I didn't think I knew is "Das Lied im Grünen" ("The Song in the Verdure"). A bit of Googling showed me that I not only know the song but love it. I've got the old Elisabeth Schwarzkopf-Edwin Fischer recording, once part of a precious and unavailable LP. I see now the error of going on a Winterreise diet for six years. Winterreise (Travels in Winter) got me through a terrible time in 1999, by sublimating a daily output of anxiety into great beauty and not trying to cheer me up. But there's more to Schubert than Winterreise, and I've lost track of a lot of beautiful songs. 

An 1826 Schubertiad is an album that I've lived without since it was released in 1996 but that I'll nonetheless pronounce "indispensable." Soloists Christine Schäfer, John Mark Ainslie, and Richard Jackson are joined by the London Schubert Chorale under Stephen Layton. Graham Johnson, the mastermind of Hyperion's "Complete Songs of Schubert" program, plays the piano.


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You have done today what you do best, at least for me, talk about music. Clearly and plainly with just enough detail to urge those who might be interested further on and also just enough detail not to discourage either. Not that the rest is bad, it is all good, many times simply brilliant, but reading your comments on music is always the best for me. Ah, the KLEF program guide, how we miss it. And of course, 'Good evening, this is Robert John Keefe and this next hour we'll be listening to ...', that we miss too.
Well said indeed, Mr. Keefe, thank you.

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