Clas­si­cal

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Vin­cent Plush

Schu­bert: Win­ter­reise David Greco and Erin Hel­yard ABC Clas­sics We all have our favourite ver­sions of Win­ter­reisse, the great song-cy­cle com­posed when Schu­bert was 28. For most, it is one of the eight stu­dio ver­sions recorded by Di­et­rich Fis­cher-Dieskau from 1955 on­wards. Oth­ers pre­fer ver­sions by Hans Hot­ter (1955) or Christa Lud­wig (1994) and es­pe­cially Peter Schreier (1985), or even the ac­claimed ver­sion by Ro­man Trekel (1998). In other words, given this her­itage, it’s a brave singer who ven­tures into this hal­lowed ter­ri­tory. This is pre­cisely what two young(ish) Aus­tralian mu­si­cians have done. Bari­tone David Greco and early key­board spe­cial­ist Erin Hel­yard have cre­ated an ad­mirable and at­trac­tive ver­sion that re­flects many of the bet­ter qual­i­ties of our favourites. This was recorded in ABC’s South­bank stu­dios in April this year by the equally ad­mirable Alex Stin­son. Greco pro­duces beau­ti­ful mo­ments but has still some way to go to thread Schu­bert’s sad tale — 24 num­bers en­com­pass­ing nearly 70 min­utes — into a co­her­ent nar­ra­tive. He pro­duces a lu­mi­nous pal­ette of light and shade through­out, and his dic­tion is clar­ity per­son­i­fied. At times his in­to­na­tion sounds a tad low, and tem­pos be­tween voice and the non-re­ver­ber­ant key­board fluc­tu­ates, de­spite close at­ten­tion to early ro­man­tic per­for­mance stylis­tic traits. It seems that Hel­yard’s nim­ble and ex­pres­sive play­ing on a Schu­bert-pe­riod in­stru­ment is driv­ing the voice, where it might be the other way round. In over-pro­ject­ing the drama, the duo seem to imagine they are per­form­ing to a live au­di­ence rather than to mi­cro­phones. In any event, this is a record­ing that is to be savoured, and I am happy to place it along­side my Fis­cher-Dieskaus.

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