As you can read in my review of Susan Graham’s recital, one of the evening’s highlights (one of many) was Franz Liszt’s masterful setting of “Kennst du das Land,” taken from Goethe’s writings.
We hardly ever hear Liszt’s art songs, and that’s a shame.
Here to help highlight the beauty of Liszt’s setting are five more, starting with Beethoven’s original.
1. Beethoven’s, as sung by (I’m guessing, because the YouTube video came with no information) Dorothea Röschmann:
2. Schubert’s, as sung by (I’m guessing again) Christa Ludwig:
3. Schumann’s, performed by Angelika Kirschlager and pianist Simon Lepper:
4. A waltzing (and justly) obscure version by Johann Strauss Jr, as sung by Eva Lind:
5. Hugo Wolf’s, as sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and accompanied by Gerald Moore:
Now for Liszt’s version, as interpreted by Brigitte Fassbaender and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Note the great subtlety of the interplay between voice and piano:
Which setting do you prefer?