Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn

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Graham Johnson’s Monumental Work on Schubert’s Lieder to Be Released Soon

08/03/2014

Graham Johnson, the pianist behind Hyperion Record’s monumental series of Schubert’s complete lieder, is known for having a lot to say about these songs. His liner notes to the original releases of the series are rich and full of insight. Unfortunately, the current box set doesn’t come with those notes, but just a book of […]

Essential Music: Franz Schubert’s Complete Songs

06/11/2014

Music Review: Franz Schubert Complete Songs
Hyperion Records
40 CDs plus book containing song texts, 2005. List price GBP 180.

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In 1987, Hyperion Records began what turned out to be a colossal project: the recording of all of Franz Schubert’s songs (or lieder), a total of 729 songs performed by over 60 soloists. Some of these songs are for male voice, others for female voice, and others for several singers together. (In comparison, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s landmark recording of all the lieder for solo male voice includes 463 songs on 21 CDs.) Originally released on 37 CDs, over a period of 18 years (the amount of time it took Schubert to compose all these songs, before his early death), this new set presents the songs in chronological order.

Why Are There So Few Complete Sets of Schubert’s Lieder?

11/29/2011

Yesterday, I received a copy of Naxos’ Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition, their 38-disc set of Schubert’s lieder, or art songs. Schubert’s lieder is one of my favorite parts of the classical repertoire, and I have many recordings by different singers. Yet, there are only two complete sets of his songs: the Naxos set, and Hyperion’s 40-disc set, […]

Celebrating Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s 85th Birthday

05/28/2010

I’m celebrating the 85th birthday of the wonderful singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau today by listening to some “new” recordings of his: a 4-disc set of some of his recordings made for EMI, never released, of lieder by Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schoenberg and Berg. Recordings from the Archives features five hours of music recorded between 1959 (for […]