Maximilian Schmitt: Wie freundlich strahlt der Tag – Operatic Arias by Flotow, Lortzing, Marschner, Nicolai, Schubert, Wagner and Weber

Reviewed on Fri 01 Apr, 2016

Maximilian Schmitt brings an experienced Lieder singer’s touch to bear, displayed best in the arias from Schubert’s Fierrabras or Weber’s Euryanthe. His lyric tenor convinces most where he ably floats line and tone.

In the booklet interview Maximilian Schmitt terms the arias recorded here as “discoveries”, and some might be, but in truth they are central to the German language repertoire. Schmitt also references Peter Anders and Fritz Wunderlich as previous owners of this music, and it is to those illustrious singers that he will be compared. Like them, Schmitt brings an experienced Lieder singer’s touch to bear, displayed best in the arias from Schubert’s Fierrabras or Weber’s Euryanthe. His lyric tenor convinces most where he ably floats line and tone, as in Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor or Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella, even if I do slightly miss a touch of opulence in the voice. The inclusion of arias from Lortzing’s Zar und Zimmermann and Marschner’s Der Vampyr is welcome, and should urge listeners to explore these works further. Wagner’s Rienzi and Tannhäuser suit Schmitt more than the heavier demands Der fliegende Höllander, but he makes a heroic stab at the Steersman’s aria. The Cologne orchestra provide spirited and dependable support under Patrick Lange. Excellent recorded sound with the voice naturally placed. No sung texts or translations.
–Evan Dickerson