Winter Journey – Winterreise
2-CD album performed in a new English translation (MCD594a) and in Müller’s original German (MCD594b) by Nathan Lay (baritone) and Brian Chapman (pianist and translator).
Accompanying 56-page Booklet includes German and English texts, musical annotations, biographical notes and fine reproductions of Lucy Chapman’s 24 paintings illustrating the 24 respective songs.
This outstanding production … is a gem worth having in any collection. It contains two recordings of the work: one sung in the original German and one in an excellent English translation. This is enhanced by a 56-page booklet with notes about the work, the musicians and the artist as well as each song being presented in German and English on an individual page opposite a page of artwork representing the particular song. While purists may not particularly like to hear the songs sung in English, I found that for me it gave greater meaning to the emotions expressed in the 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller and to the depth of feeling that Schubert poured into the music.
Elaine Siversen, FM 102.5 Fine Music Magazine, October 2019.
Lay has an open, expressive and mellow timbre, and his experience as an operatic regular … means that he has a talent for inhabiting each stage of the hero’s tragic journey. The chemistry between singer and accompanist is strong, as is the judgement of tempo, dynamic and phrasing. Lay’s attention to the text, in both languages, is spot on and we feel we are witnessing both the stark and joyless landscape as well as the disturbing disintegration of the traveler’s mind.
Steve Moffatt, Limelight, October 2019.
What immediately struck me with this recording was the sheer beauty and freedom of Nathan Lay’s voice and the wonderful clarity of his diction. [Chapman’s] playing here is controlled and clear and always supportive of the singer. Beautifully presented with a very elegant booklet … It is a fine introduction to Schubert’s cycle, and the visual element certainly adds another dimension to one’s enjoyment of this recording. [Lucy] Chapman’s surrealist style of paintings is very effective, giving an eerie quality to the story of the jilted lover. We never actually see the wandering protagonist. Only his shadow falling on the snow makes us aware of his presence in her images. It is as though we too are inside his mind, experiencing the world through his eyes.
Inge Southcott, Music Trust Loud Mouth e-Zine, September 20, 2019.