All those concerned with this Wanderer project are to be heartily congratulated. I will listen to this splendidly performed release again and again. (…) There are twenty four works on this disc. The vast majority of these are established in the standard repertoire but are presented here in a different guise by tenor Christoph Prégardien and the Ensemble Kontraste. The impressive Prégardien has a distinct baritonal quality to his lower register. Across the scores the concept of the Wanderer from German Romantic literature is a constant theme that works superbly well.
Schubert's 'Wanderer Fantasy' and Schumann's 'Fantasie' are two highly remarkable works: while musically embodying the romantic spirit of the age in their unconventional structures and lyrically imaginative styles, they also act as self-portraits to their creators through the evocation of their creative process. In these new orchestrations by Joseph James, the familiar beauty of the works is rekindled in exciting and fresh interpretations performed by the illustrious English Chamber Orchestra alongside concertante solos from members of the Schubert Ensemble.
Rural France, the 1890s. Always in motion, Augustin wanders three times. First, as a youth, while a boarder near Bourges, he's lost in the woods and finds a chateau where an engagement party's in progress: there he falls eternally in love with Yvonne and she with him. Back at school, he hears she is in Paris, so he follows in a vain search and meets a woman, jilted by her lover. In the countryside a few year's later, Augustin's friend François finds Yvonne and brings Augustin to her. They marry, but the next day, Augustin leaves to fulfill a youthful promise he made to Yvonne's brother. François comforts the pregnant Yvonne as they await Augustin's return.