Schubert: Winterreise

Schubert: Winterreise

As with so many music projects conceived at the dawn of the 2020s, the pandemic provided the impetus for this recording of Schubert’s anguished song cycle. Back in 2021, appropriately in the depths of winter, while concerts were cancelled and lockdowns enforced, tenor Cyrille Dubois and pianist Anne Le Bozec set out to explore ways to keep playing and rehearsing. Their idea to record Winterreise, a work which they had prepared for performance together before COVID, has proved inspirational. For both artists, performing Schubert’s songs in Le Bozec’s half-renovated home—with their themes of intense solitude, lost love, and death—would have taken on an extra resonance. From the panicked despair of “Erstarrung” (“Numbness”) to the bleakness of the closing “Der Leiermann” (“The Hurdy-Gurdy Man”), the result is 75 minutes of intense and enriching music-making. Dubois’ light, airy voice is expressive and vibrant, Le Bozec’s 1905 Bechstein piano perfect in its fragile warmth.

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