Imogen Cooper


Schubert: Song Cycles (Die schöne Müllerin, Die Winterreise, Schwanengesang, 7 Lieder)

Composed by Franz Schubert

Performed by Imogen Cooper, Wolfgang Holzmair

Philips / 476-200-2

This is no mean achievement. Holzmair and Cooper present the cycles in a way that compels complete attention from first note to last. There is nothing in the current catalogue of available recordings that offers this crucial dimension at so high a level and so consistently. Here, the cumulative effect of Holzmair and Cooper’s approach to the the narrative’s development, especially in Winterreise, makes for enthralling listening.

Neville Cohn, Oz Arts Review

Holzmair is throughout at one with the wonderfully resourceful and imaginative Cooper. Ideally balanced with her partner in a warm yet intimate recording, she revels in all of Schubert's onomatopoeic effects, not least the hoofbeats of the postman's horse in "Die Post", the stark falling of the odd leaf in "Letzte Hoffnung" and the howling dogs of "Im Dorfe". Of course other pianists have noted these things, but not perhaps quite with Cooper's arresting yet never exaggerated phrasing. Over and above that is the sense of two minds thinking alike and as one all through.