Michael Kennedy
The Sunday Telegraph
April 2014

Two new CDs of the greatest of song-cycles epitomise, in their best features, the present-day style of singing Winterreise: more dramatic, intensely intimate but with a narrative force driving the protagonist to the bleak ending. Both singers have excellent diction and are immersed in the text, providing the subtlest of nuances by which to emphasise Schubert's sensibility. In the half-dozen final songs, the baritone Gerald Finley perhaps screws tension a notch higher than the tenor Jonas Kaufmann, but Kaufmann begins to foresee its inevitable end a little earlier. Both are in magnificent voice and accompanied by pianists of the top rank, Julius Drake for Finley and Helmut Deutsch for Kaufmann. These are distinguished additions to the Winterreise discography and owe much to the pianists' contributions. Both recordings are technically impeccable with superb balance between voice and piano. I could not recommend one more highly than the other. It may come down to preference for tenor or baritone.