SCHUBERT Lieder / Bryn Terfel 4452942

Terfel's gift is a generous, individual voice, a natural feeling for German and an inborn ability to go to the heart of what he attempts. His singing here is grand in scale -- listen to any of the dramatic songs and the point is made . . . he's able to reduce his large voice to the needs of a sustained, quiet line, as in "Meeresstille". When the two come together as in "Der Wanderer", the effect can be truly electrifying, even more so, perhaps, in "Erlkönig", where the four participants are superbly contrasted. Yet this is a voice that can also smile, as in "An die Laute" and "Die Taubenpost", or express wonder, as in "Ganymed", a most exhilarating interpretation, or again explode in sheer anger as in the very first song, the strenuous "Gruppe aus dem Tartarus". Terfel isn't afraid to employ rubato and vibrato to make his points and above all to take us right into his interpretations rather than leave us admiring them, as it were, from afar. Throughout, Martineau's at once vigorous and subtle playing is an apt support: his accompaniment in "Erlkönig" is arrestingly clear and precise.