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.