Romantic imagery says that the idea of his imminent death, at the age of 31, would have instilled in Schubert the genius of despair. His last works, including the quintet D956 and the Lieder cycle “Schwanengesang” put together here, reached the absolute highest heights. Swan song? No, replies Jacques Drillon, in a very nicely-written booklet. Firstly, because “Schwanengesang” is a posthumous assemblage. Secondly because Schubert didn’t know the date of his death, and if he did tie together these masterpieces, dares Drillon, it’s because his vital energy was intact. It’s difficult to prove him wrong with regard to the quintet, the gravity reinforced by a second cello.
Led by violinist Christian Tetzlaff, this interpretation is one of the harshest and most heartbreaking ever etched on disc, dragging us into a maelstrom of punchy emotions.
The 3rd movement could be called an anthology, with its overwhelming and aptly-named sostenuto.
What a group of interpreters!
I have the same enthusiasm for the other CD where, in the so-subtle genre of Lieder, Julian Prégardien (tenor) and Martin Helmchen (piano) come together with uncommon elegance, the best of all their predecessors.
Loosely translated from French.