Thomas Quasthoff unfortunately announced his retirement from singing early in 2012, because of health reasons. But while he was singing, he was perhaps one of the best interpreters of Schubert since Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. (In fact, Fischer-Dieskau called Quasthoff the greatest living lieder singer in 2007.)
This performance of Auf den Flusse is riveting. In the first verses, Quasthoff sets the scene for what will come. Then, the contrast he gives in the final verse is simply chilling:
Mein Herz, in diesem Bache
Erkennst du nun dein Bild?
Ob’s unter seiner Rinde
Wohl auch so reißend schwillt?
The first two lines are ethereal, then the torrent breaks through and he gives his all in the final lines and the repeats.
Daniel Barenboim is also excellent on piano here.