SCHUBERT Die schöne Müllerin (Konstantin Krimmel)

Record and Artist Details



Label: Alpha

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 70



Catalogue Number: ALPHA929



Composition Artist Credit
(Die) Schöne Müllerin Franz Schubert, Composer
Daniel Heide, Piano
Konstantin Krimmel, Baritone

In his booklet note for this excellent new recording of Die schöne Müllerin, Konstantin Krimmel muses on the suicide figures in Germany and the apparent reluctance of men, especially, to seek help for depression. It provides a sobering context in which to listen to his performance, in which one is never in any doubt as to the outcome.

This particular miller boy, we are left to infer from a gentle, unusually introspective account of ‘Das Wandern’, no longer finds much solace in wandering, and the youthful swagger many interpreters find in the earlier songs has been replaced by pensiveness and resignation.

It’s an entirely valid interpretative approach and one that Krimmel and his superb pianist, Daniel Heide, realise beautifully and movingly. They perform as one throughout. Heide’s playing is full of subtle shades and pointed details – listen to the lovely lilt he brings to the repeated figures of ‘Pause’, for example, or the extra sadness he wrings out of the postlude of ‘Tränenregen’ – without ever drawing attention to itself.

Krimmel’s voice, meanwhile, is ideally suited to the interpretation. His baritone is light but not bright, beautiful but with a hint of a hazy tang in the timbre – ideally suited to the more introspective and reflective numbers. He sings with unaffected artlessness, likewise offering a wealth of unostentatious detail. His gentle embellishments in the strophic songs feel natural and organic; occasional additional ritardandos never spoil the flow. It’s a performance that immediately draws the listener in and charts a compelling path to the moving final songs, where, perhaps surprisingly, our miller boy starts to show a little defiance: there’s strength in the final moments of a beautiful ‘Trockne Blumen’ and also in the legato of ‘Der Müller an der Bach’, while ‘Des Baches Wiegenlied’ offers a sense of consolation.

There’s certainly no shortage of outstanding recordings of this cycle but this new one – considered, refined and beautifully sung, played and recorded – is among the most satisfying and quietly moving to come my way for a long time. Highly recommended.

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