Schubert, Schwanengesänge
Franz Schubert

Schubert, Schwanengesänge

Markus Schäfer & Tobias Koch

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085532063
Catalog number: AVI 8553206
Releasedate: 04-10-19

- „This grooves like a cool Jazz album“ – (Concerti 9/2015 about Die Schöne Müllerin)
- The second of the Schubert trilogy – with a more historical approach of the contemporary music making, experimental and spontaneous improvisations
- Tobias Koch is one of the leading Pianoforte player, Markus Schäfer a leading singer in his best shape


Every period in history has its own tendencies and points of reference. A musical interpretation should always strive to breathe new life into a composer’s legacy by making it audible and understandable in accordance with the here and now. Artists should certainly render the score as authentically as possible; however, thanks to a choice of responsibly assumed liberties and of self-imposed limits in performance practice, they can give their interpretation a highly individual profile.

In this new recording we have once again dared to open up our performance experimentally to the sort of effects that emerge from spontaneous improvisation. We have never ceased to ask ourselves (not only in this context): at what point does subjectivity turn into mannerism? How much freedom can, may, and should a recorded interpretation contain?

As historically informed practitioners of music, we see ourselves as mediators. Faithfulness to the original begins with a willingness to decode, decipher, and interpret the score; it is not achieved by staring fearfully in awe at the manuscript. To the contrary: we are fully aware that any confrontation with a masterpiece of the past can only be justified if we recreate it anew while maintaining a fragile balance between faithfulness to the musical work and faithfulness to the “text”. We are also well aware that the two latter concepts should not be equated.

In this recording we confront the listener with a number of notes that are not in the manuscript, along with a series of unfamiliar phrasings, and several changes we have made in the score..……. (Excerpt from the booklet notes by Tobias Koch/Markus Schäfer).

Lyric tenor Markus Schäfer
enjoys international recognition thanks to continual, intense collaboration
with early music ensembles and conductors such as La Petite Bande with Gustav Leonhardt
and Sigiswald Kuijken, Concentus Musicus Wien under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt,
and many others. His opera career began in Zurich and led him to the opera houses of Hamburg,
Düsseldorf and Berlin.

He currently makes frequent appearances at renowned festivals and music
venues, such as Salzburg Festival, the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Rheingau Music Festival, Styriarte
in Graz, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, Lincoln Center
and Wigmore Hall. Schäfer has been on the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover as voice
professor since 2008.

His extended and variegated repertoire is documented on a great number of
recordings for the music industry and for radio broadcasting stations, as well as in collaborations
with renowned international orchestras – not only featuring Classical and Romantic works,
but also world premieres of music by living composers. Schäfer has nevertheless preserved
his special relation with historical performance practice and early music, which has marked
him the most and still occupies the larger portion of his widespread musical activity.

TOBIAS KOCH , pianoforte

To trace the essence of sound with the joy of discovery and open-minded versatility – that is
the musical credo of Tobias Koch, one of the most fascinating current performers in the area
of historical keyboard instruments. Koch never ceases to surprise his audiences with a series
of exceptional projects, featuring an extensive variety of repertoire and a pronounced curiosity
for discovering rare historical instruments and unknown musical gems. A comprehensive
musical career as soloist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist has led him to tour
throughout Europe.

He appears as a guest artist in leading festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein,
Ludwigsburg, Verbier, and the Warsaw Chopin Festival. Important musical partners include
Andreas Staier, Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, Concerto Köln, Collegium 1704 Prag, Hofkapelle
München, Frieder Bernius with Hofkapelle Stuttgart, the choirs of the broadcasting entities
WDR (Cologne) and BR (Munich), and singers such as Dorothee Mields, Jan Kobow, Thomas
E. Bauer, and Markus Schäfer, with whom he has been collaborating for many years. Tobias

Koch works in tandem with instrument makers and restorers, as well as with some of the
most important musical instrument museums; he is on the faculty of the Robert Schumann
Hochschule in Düsseldorf and imparts masterclasses on an international level. A wide range
of publications and a great number of broadcast productions for radio and television round
out his work in the field of music, along with over 30 CD releases of works ranging from
Mozart to Brahms.


As a performer specializing in historical horn instruments, Stephan Katte is much in demand
on the German and European music scene. Born in 1972, he trained in Weimar, where he has
been teaching horn at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music since 2006. In 2009 he was appointed
to teach natural horn at Leipzig University of Music and Theatre. Stephan Katte is a member
of several outstanding ensembles and orchestras; on the subject of historical horns he has carried
out thorough research, also in collaboration with several museums.