Was there a reason you recorded so much Schubert before dedicating yourself in the last couple of years to Schumann?

If I have to make a decision who is the more important, without being too judgemental, Schubert as a composer is much closer to me.

Matthias Goerne Matthias Goerne

It was because of the Schubert songs I had listened to as a child that I started to really think seriously about becoming a singer, and the work he has left, his entire oeuvre, it’s more refined than Schumann. Schumann is interesting because he was very troubled and almost mentally unhealthy, but Schubert is much more complex in my opinion. Schubert’s life was so tremendously difficult, not healthy, poor, lonely, but I do not know a single song from the 650 pieces – and I can say I know all of them even when I haven’t done them in concert – which is really negative or destructive in a way that there is no hope. That’s why Schubert is closer to my heart than Schumann, but I love Schumann, do not take me wrong.

So, what is your personal relationship with Schumann? 

In the Schubert world, there...