Included in EMI Classics’ very broad ranging box set of Schubert’s vast oeuvre of lieder is an interpretation of the Winterreise cycle that has been widely acclaimed. The singer is Thomas Hampson, who throughout his distinguished career has made a particularly profound and searching study of Schubert’s lieder. That has been part of his deep and on-going commitment to the examination and discussion of song and opera through investigating the art forms in the overall perspectives of composers’ lives, environments and literary, social and philosophical influences.
In this discussion here that has been specially commissioned as a compendium to EMI Classics’ Schubert Lieder On Record, 1898-2012, Hampson leads up to his consideration of Winterreise by way of a look at the remarkable years of innovation and invention that preceded this groundbreaking cycle, tracing Schubert’s development in song from his earliest times as a composer of a totally new kind of music right up to the composition of Winterreise itself. His exploration, in conversation with Jon Tolansky, is accompanied by musical illustrations taken from the box set as well as an additional item from the EMI catalogue, “Im Abendrot,” which was performed at the farewell recital for the great accompanist Gerald Moore (Homage to Gerald Moore – 7243 5 67996 2 4).
–Jon Tolansky, Producer of Schubert’s Journey – An Exploration with Thomas Hampson