Schumann: Dichterliebe

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The centerpiece of this album is not a performance of Robert Schumann's song cycle "Dichterliebe" as such, but a new set of English texts by poet Elizabeth Kirschner, fitted to Schumann's music. The resulting text is, according to Kirschner, not intended as a translation of Heinrich Heine's original but instead a new work based on Schumann's music, text set to music rather than music set to text. In the event, that's not quite what it is, either, for Kirschner sticks close to Heine in several important respects without running quite parallel to his arch-Romantic narrative of the despairing poet in love. She drops Heine's cleverly bathetic rhymes, but keeps the simple ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The centerpiece of this album is not a performance of Robert Schumann's song cycle "Dichterliebe" as such, but a new set of English texts by poet Elizabeth Kirschner, fitted to Schumann's music. The resulting text is, according to Kirschner, not intended as a translation of Heinrich Heine's original but instead a new work based on Schumann's music, text set to music rather than music set to text. In the event, that's not quite what it is, either, for Kirschner sticks close to Heine in several important respects without running quite parallel to his arch-Romantic narrative of the despairing poet in love. She drops Heine's cleverly bathetic rhymes, but keeps the simple iambic meter. She replaces Heine's more or less male figure with one that is not really gendered; the cycle is sung here by soprano Jean Danton but could also be taken by a male singer. Several of the poems closely follow Heine, but the emphasis of the cycle is fundamentally altered -- the love affair is made to last longer, through four seasons rather than just one, and the heat is turned down to a slow burn that is perhaps more appealing for the modern listener than Heine's lyrics of infatuation. The listener is directed especially to Kirschner's cool but devastating final exit for the poet. It is perhaps Kirschner's blank verse that is most compelling -- "In vesper shadows, I can behold/Your silhouette in violets" -- and it fits Schumann's music. The work is introduced with some shorter works by both Robert and Clara Schumann, presenting their own love affair as a sort of prelude to the song cycle. That's questionable, for whatever Robert and Clara's love affair may have been, it was anything but doomed. Plenty about the whole enterprise is questionable, but there's a nifty balancing act going on that has more to it than the listener may see at first glance. Soprano Jean Danton's voice is a bit thin for Schumann, even in this more intimate recasing, but those who love Schumann's music in this cycle will find that it has lost nothing in taking on a new set of American lyrics as passenger, and may even have gained a few possibilities.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/3/2007
  • Label: Albany Records
  • UPC: 034061091721
  • Catalog Number: 917

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Der Nussbaum ("Es grünet ein Nussbaum vor dem Haus"), song for voice & piano (Myrthen), Op. 25/3 - Robert Schumann & Julius Mosen (2:57)
  2. 2 Du bist wie eine Blume, song for voice & piano (Myrthen), Op. 25/24 - Robert Schumann & Heinrich Heine (1:32)
  3. 3 Widmung ("Du meine Seele, du mein Herz"), song for voice & piano (Myrthen), Op. 25/1 - Robert Schumann & Friedrich Rückert (2:21)
  4. 4 Faschingsschwank aus Wien ("Phantasiebilder"), for piano, Op. 26: Romanze in G minor - Robert Schumann & Thomas Stumpf (2:50)
  5. 5–7 Romances (3) for piano, Op. 28 - Robert Schumann & Thomas Stumpf (14:19)
  6. 6 Romances (3) for piano, Op. 21: Nr. 1 - Clara Wieck Schumann & Thomas Stumpf (5:43)
  7. 7 Romances (3) for piano, Op. 21: Nr. 2 - Clara Wieck Schumann & Thomas Stumpf (1:12)
  8. 8 Romance for piano in A minor - Clara Wieck Schumann & Thomas Stumpf (5:41)
  9. 11–26 Dichterliebe, song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 48 - Robert Schumann & Thomas Stumpf (29:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jean Danton Primary Artist
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