Judith Fa, Sabine Devieilhe, sopranos; Stéphane Degout, baritone; Ensemble Pygmalion; Raphaël Pichon, conductor (Harmonia Mundi)
Franz Schubert, grasp melodist and progenitor of the track cycle, by no means wrote for the theater with success, producing scores for singspiels, operas and incidental music that gather mud on the shelf.
With the brand new idea album “Mein Traum,” the conductor Raphaël Pichon, working with Ensemble Pygmalion, the baritone Stéphane Degout and the sopranos Judith Fa and Sabine Devieilhe, creates an operatic Schubert pastiche utilizing discovered supplies. Excerpts from his opera “Alfonso und Estrella,” the oratorio “Lazarus” and the “Unfinished” Symphony discover new dimension alongside arias by Schumann and Weber.
A dreamlike narrative Schubert wrote down in 1822, one which sums up his track cycles with startling concision, offers the plot: “With a coronary heart filled with infinite love for individuals who spurned that love, I wandered.”
The album feels extra like a ghostly mosaic or a mirage — evanescent, bewitching, fragmentary — than an actual telling of that story. For unity, Pichon organizes this system with an ear for instrumental timbres. Dusky horns move from a Weber aria into the “Unfinished” Symphony’s Andante. Harrowing woodwinds wend all through the album, and the pairing of bassoon and brass lends it a mournful glow.
The Pygmalion gamers, adroit in shifting types, summon graciousness for Schubert and aptitude for the extra theatrically astute composers. Degout, because the protagonist, sings with a vigorous, taut, darkly burnished tone. For her single project, Devieilhe by some means transforms Schubert’s overexposed “Ave Maria” into an aria of emotional, somewhat than non secular, absolution — permitting the wanderer, lastly, to relaxation. OUSSAMA ZAHR