**** - (Excellent Disc)
Roberto Brusotti - Musica magazine - September 2013
"...In Coote, Schubert’s great and harrowing work finds yet another distinctive interpreter. Her velvety, contralto-ish voice is laced with mournful sweetness, and she takes a refreshingly simple, naturalistic approach: there’s no micromanaging of phrases or belaboured angst, just a subtle dissection of a disintegrating soul, whose occasional outpourings – the tempestuous Der stürmische Morgen, for instance, or the tearful urgency of Erstarrung – are made all the more potent by the slow burn which precedes them... Julius Drake’s masterful playing makes its mark from the outset, matching both the restraint and gathering darkness of Coote’s Gute Nacht, and the pair continues in touching sympathy; Drake’s touch is forthright but never heavy- handed, and he deftly weaves each song’s intricacies into the cycle’s desolate sweep. Audience noise is limited to a richly deserved ovation – and only after Der Leiermann has been allowed to dissolve achingly into silence." ****½
Sarah Noble - Limelightmagazine.com - 3 July 2013
"...These two fine artists’ profoundly-considered account of this great cycle ends, inevitably, in silence; how unfortunate, then, that an extended bout of rapturous applause has also been captured in all its mood-shattering glory. The release’s only significant misjudgement it may be, but it’s a bad one. The recording is excellent ..."
Mark Valencia - classicalsource.com - 10 May 2013
"... In contrast to the recent recordings by Christopher Maltman and Florian Boesch, this is not a study of mental disintegration, but a painstaking examination of grief that eventually subsides into exhausted resignation. Coote’s pianist is Julius Drake, admirably pointillist and comfortless... it’s a formidable experience ..." ****
Tim Ashley - The Guardian - 11 April 2013
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