Halifax-based record label Leaf Music is pleased to announce the release of baritone Nathaniel Watson and pianist Michael McMahon’s rendition of Schubert’s Winterreise, recorded last winter in Montreal.
Baritone Nathaniel Watson and pianist Michael McMahon, both based in Montreal, give us their rendition of Franz Schubert’s monumental song cycle, Winterreise, written in 1827, the year before Schubert’s tragic, early death. The 24 settings of poems of Wilhelm Müller are a journey deep into the psyche of a young man, unlucky in love, who sets out with neither friend nor destination, in the dead of winter, an epic figure in the dawning of German Romanticism. In this recording, also made in winter (and during a pandemic), Watson and McMahon share their experience and lifelong passion for Schubert. The composer, who had already composed some 600 Lieder in his short life, confessed to his close circle of friends that these songs moved him more than all the others.
Canadian Nathaniel Watson is a versatile artist who has performed successfully in a wide variety of musical styles. Highlights include Der Freischütz with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Colin Davis, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Kurt Masur, and in Carnegie Hall with Sir Roger Norrington in the conductor’s debut concert in New York.
He appeared in the title role in the Boston Early Music Festival production of Cavalli’s Ercole amante in Boston, at Tanglewood, and at the Utrecht Festival in Holland, and was featured in the Salzburg Festival production of Weill’s Mahagonny. Recent seasons have included performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, Messiah with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with L’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and Handel’s Semele with Pacific Opera Victoria.
Nathaniel Watson has recorded works by the American composers Samuel Barber, Philip Glass, Andrew Imbrie, and Claudio Spies, as well as premiering works by Mr. Spies, Miriam Gideon, Scott Lindroth, Ronald Perera, Lewis Spratlan, Chan Ka Nin and Earl Kim. He has been featured as a soloist in Ruth Fazal’s Oratorio Terezin, a work that has been performed in six countries, including Israel, and in Carnegie Hall.
Distinguished pianist Michael McMahon has served on the Faculty of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in both the Piano and Voice Areas, since 1984, and has partnered with a long list of prominent singers in North America and in Europe.
Nathaniel Watson: Winterreise
Release date: February 11, 2022