Imogen Cooper


Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin

Composed by Franz Schubert

Performed by Imogen Cooper, Wolfgang Holzmair

Philips / 456-581-2 / Recorded at Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria

From its opening notes, this disc promises an engaging listen. Wolfgang Holzmair and Imogen Cooper have Schubert's idiom well in voice and hands, respectively, and capture Wilhelm Müller's youth setting out in "Das Wandern" to perfection. Like their 'Winterreise,' this is a listening experience to savor. Holzmair's bright, youthful tone is highly appropriate for the opening songs of the cycle as the youth's wandering begins and he comes to the brook which leads him to a mill and the mill-maiden (the scöhne Müllerin of the title). Rejected by her in favor of the huntsman the tone shifts to darker colors as the cycle progresses, and Holzmair and Cooper match that gradual change in their performance. There are minor slips of vocal technique and diction, but these cannot mar the fact that this is as sensitive a performance of one of Schubert's masterworks as can be found on disc.