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Sunday, 28 December 2014


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There are surely many better-known songs by Schubert than the one you mention (at least as far as the original version's concerned) - The Erl King (Der Erlkönig) for a single example.
For my own part, having heard Schubert's entire body of songs innumerable times I still regard them as an example of "The Emperor's Clothes". Why on earth these pompous dirges, sung in a language that most of us don't speak (thanks to WW2), have attained the ludicrously elevated status that they have simply defies understanding. When I hear the words "Fischer-Dieskau" I reach for my off-button.

Oh, Mike - you've done it now. The first time I heard Inessa Galante's version of the Caccini/Vovilov Ave Maria, I found it incredibly beautiful and moving. This was twenty years ago.

15 years ago I chose to have it played at my mother's funeral, and now I cannot listen to it without sobbing. And I only do listen to it when I read something like this ....


Ave Maria? no one does it better than Jonny Mathis.

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