You may well have worn out your CD of Christoph Prégardien and Andreas Staier's version of Schubert's 'Winterreise'. It would hardly be surprising! It is one of the most convincing recordings that have appeared in the last few years.
Prégardien and Staier, as experienced interpreters of early music, have approached Schubert's songs with the appropriate sense of style and have not fallen into the trap of misplaced emotion. For Prégardien and Staier, Schubert is first and foremost a master of melody. The text is the only possible point of departure. With a slimmed down, flexible use of the voice, crystal clear pronunciation and a subtle colouring of vowels and consonances, Prégardien is able to make the subtlest changes in mood audible. Also the richly differentiating playing by Staier makes the most profound layers of the text tangible.
Prégardien and Staier help us to imagine how it could have been in that small sparsely lit room of Schober's, where in 1827 Schubert invited his friends to come and listen to the 'Zyklus schauerlicher Lieder'.