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|Sting||, Robert Schumann (in words)|
|Trudie Styler||, Clara Wieck (in words)|
|Derek Jacobi||Voice Only|
|Rebecca Evans||Clara Wieck (in song)|
|Simon Keenlyside||Robert Schumann (in song)|
|June Chichester||Executive Producer|
|Ferenc van Damme||Producer|
2010 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Robert Schumann. Opus Arte has gotten a jump on the celebrating by releasing this 2-DVD set. The first disc is the stage performance of "Twin Spirits", in which Derek Jacobi narrates the story of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck, and how these two great artists came to be one of the greatest husband/wife teams in classical music history.
The letters and diaries that the Schumanns wrote to each other are spoken by Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler (I should stress that Sting acts, but does NOT sing, on this DVD!). The songs of the Schumanns (and a performance of Mozart's "La ci darem" from "Don Giovanni") are sung by baritone Simon Keenlyside (featured on the November issue of BBC Music Magazine) and soprano Rebecca Evans. Songs and chamber works are performed by very talented artists, including cellist Natalie Clein.
The second disc is loaded with great extras. Cast discussions offer the artists' viewpoints on these two amazing figures. The documentary "One Heart, One Soul" features discussion from the caretaker of a Schumann museum, offering sharp insight into the lives of Robert and Clara. Add to that a chronology and a sort-of "infomercial" for Royal Opera House Education, and you've got a DVD set packed with many interesting ways to learn about Robert and Clara Schumann, two of the greatest artists of their time. Look for Sir Willard White and Alfred Brendel among the audience members!
Posted October 1, 2010
John Caird's "Twin Spirits" is a beautiful collaboration between musicians, singers, and actors. I was hooked from beginning to end. Sting and Trudie Styler do a wonderful job of portraying Robert and Clara Schumann in words from the fun and flirty beginnings of their relationship to the bitter end. Singers Simon Keenlyside and Rebecca Evans as well as the other musicians truly bring the Schumanns' music to life. From a technical standpoint, I was really impressed with their thoughtful approaches to each piece. One of the most moving phrases I heard from Clara Schumann was in a letter she wrote: "What could be more beautiful than to clothe oneself in sound?" It really spoke to my soul. Where words didn't move me, the music did. I really felt like I was being let in on something very private and personal. By the end I was teary-eyed and completely enveloped by the Schumanns' story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
"Twin Spirits" is an overview of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck's relationship, as revealed in their correspondence. Musical interludes punctuate selected letters that they wrote to each other, some of which were tender and intimate, while others bordered on the tempestuous. The actors Sting and Trudie Styler portray Robert and Clara, respectively, in spoken dialog, which is interspersed with musical excerpts. Songs are sung by baritone Simon Keenlyside and soprano Rebecca Evans; the instrumentalists are Sergej Krylov, Iain Burnside, Natalie Clein, and Nataska Paremski. The soloists, both vocal and instrumental, all perform superbly. Narrator Derek Jacobi helps to support the story line when needed.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to some of the letters and learning about the Schumanns' intense relationship. The letters, some of them highly romantic, certainly added to my enjoyment of the music, which is lovely. The actors do their best, with gestures and facial expressions, to dramatize a loving relationship, but sometimes it was hard for me to sustain involvement in the program. After about one hour, I found it difficult to maintain interest in what seemed to be an overly long program. Perhaps it is hard for "modern day" individuals to enter easily into the romantic spirit of the era of the Schumanns.
Posted October 1, 2010
Twin Spirits tells the tragic love story of Romantic composer Robert Schumann and the immensely talented pianist Clara Wieck in a uniquely staged performance by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, featuring Sting & Trudie Styler as Robert and Clara Schumann. Robert and Clara were forbidden to communicate by Clara's father so they composed long letters to each other that were secretly delivered back and forth by their friends and servants. It is these private letters that provide the backdrop of this performance DVD.
The vocal part of this passionate love story is beautifully sung by Simon Keenlyside and Rebecca Evans. Schumann's compositions throughout the performance are capably and movingly played by Sergei Krylov (violin), Natalie Clein (cello), Iain Burnside (piano), and Natasha Paremski(piano). Derek Jacobi is the narrator. This performance is an opportunity to look behind the scenes of one of the Romantic era's greatest love stories.
Posted February 18, 2010
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