SCHUBERT: "Lieder."

• Bernarda Fink, mezzo- soprano; Gerold Huber, piano (Harmonia Mundi)

• Matthias Goerne, baritone; Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano (Harmonia Mundi)

Recital discs by mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink have been standard setters in the past few years, and so is this one -- give or take a few quirks. The selection is a mixture of greatest hits -- "Lied der Mignon," "Ganymed," "An Silvia" -- and obscure songs, all done with freshness and commitment, and sometimes more.

On the odd side, "An die Musik" is the polar opposite of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's prayerlike approach; it's almost an off-handed tribute by someone who lives with music easily and constantly. No matter how often you've heard the Faust-based "Gretchen am Spinnrade," Fink builds the climax with a tone color that speaks volumes of regret and longing. Moments like this are what people talk about when using words such as "vocal genius."

Speaking of longing, that's the rough translation of "Sehnsucht," the title of the Matthias Goerne disc that's the first in his projected series of Schubert discs for Harmonia Mundi -- a series begun with a whimper more than a bang.

As laudable as it is for him to choose lesser-known songs, most of what's here shows the young composer taking on verse that his language can't even begin to encompass. Even with Goerne's considerable artistry, the songs often make a mostly wan impression and don't give pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja (a fine Schubert interpreter) much to do.

Although he's the most intellectually and vocally gifted male art-song interpreter of his generation, Goerne seems to be daring you to enjoy him.