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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Kate Royal by Malcolm Crowthers
Track(s) taken from CDJ33110
Recording details: May 2006
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2007
Total duration: 8 minutes 34 seconds

'Royal's pure, pellucid tone, free-soaring top notes and refined musicianship give constant pleasure … abetted by Johnson's ever-sentient keyboard-playing, Royal reveals a true understanding of Schumann's Innigkeit … in the final 'Frülingsnacht', often rushed off its feet, she and Johnson catch the elusive mix of secretiveness and ecstasy as perfectly as I have heard' (Gramophone)

'In the Liederkries, Kate Royal, discerningly partnered by Johnson, sings with pure, luminous tone and eloquent phrasing … there are many memorable things here, including a hushed, rapt 'Mondnacht', and a truly ecstatic final 'Frülingsnacht' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Volume 10 … has as its centerpiece a wonderful rendition by Kate Royal of Liederkreis, Ms Royal … again delivers a performance that is remarkable for its intelligence, musicianship, and sheer beauty' (American Record Guide)

'Much of the singing is exceptionally lovely … 'Waldegespräch' amply displays the dramatic flair one expects of a fine operatic artist … Johnson accompanies with his wonted sensitivity and his booklet notes are, as usual, exhaustive in their detail … the engineering is immaculate' (International Record Review)

'This wonderful disc feels like an intimate salon performance by a group of close friends … Liederkries is sung with devotion … by rising wonder-woman Kate Royal … glorious duetting from Lott and Murray, ensemble fun from all the singers and a glimpse of Schumann towards the end of his tragic life in the Mädchenlieder—you don't realise how much you're learning about the composer's genius until it's all over' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Royal's professed affinity for the Lieder repertoire is more than borne out by the recording of Schumann's Eichendorff Liederkreis―[she] gives us everything: hers is a beautifully sung and deeply flet rendition from beginning to end, her specific responses to the words and their meaning never, ever becoming intrusive―the ideal balance of what one wants in performances of this cycle' (Fanfare, USA)

'A stunning achievement for Kate Royal, and another well-deserved feather in the Hyperion cap as this enthralling series continues … Kate Royal tones down some of her interpretations to reflect the genuinely intimate and reflectively pensive music to great effect, lovingly adjusting her voice to the needs of each word … highest recommendation' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'The program opens with the undervalued Liederkreis cycle … Royal infuses these brief intuitions of forest walks, foreign lands and a 'Moonlit Night' with a glowing musical poetry. Even the sparest, quietest songs hold a sense of vigor and wondrous apprehension' (San Francisco Chronicle)

Drei Gedichte nach Emanuel Geibel, Op 29
composer
Nos 1 & 2: 30/31 July 1840; No 3: ? 7 October 1840
author of text

Introduction
In the summer of 1840 Schumann was so keen to set the poetry of Emanuel Geibel (three settings for solo voice, Op 30, were composed more or less at the same time) that he seems to have gone to some trouble to track down a review copy of the poems that officially appeared only in the autumn of that year. This would not have been very difficult as he had many journalistic contacts, and he was accustomed to access to forthcoming publications through the ‘Gebrüder Schumann’, the family firm in Zwickau. The appeal of this poet, no Heine obviously, and no Eichendorff either, was in the cosmopolitan and easily settable nature of his verse. The selection of texts for the composition of Myrten in April 1840 had shown the composer’s taste for a concept of ‘world poetry’. In fact, since he was a child he had taken for granted that great literature was international by nature: the publications of the Gebrüder Schumann are an astonishing mixture of Italian, English, French and Spanish classics, sold at reasonable prices in handy pocket-size format, and sometimes issued in the original languages as well as in German translation. In terms of subject matter, Geibel’s poems are an amazingly eclectic mixture, an echo of the worldiness of the older Goethe. In Geibel’s company we find ourselves in medieval Germany, Italy or Spain (the latter a favourite, and destined to be the poet’s strongest link with Schumann); stories are set in town or country, the distant past or the present, and are shaped into shorter lyrics, longer ballads or something in between. The poetry of Geibel had appeared in various almanacs before the appearance of the Gedichte, and it was set by other composers from these sources. Schumann’s interest in the poet was probably sharpened by the fact that these song publications passed through the offices of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik for review.

from notes by Graham Johnson

Other albums featuring this work
'Schumann: The Complete Songs' (CDS44441/50)
Schumann: The Complete Songs
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £38.50 CDS44441/50  10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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