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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: 1 minutes 35 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)

Frühlingsgrüsse
First line:
Nach langem Frost, wie weht die Luft so lind!
composer
17 March 1851
author of text

Introduction
This is one of a handful of fragments, shavings from the Schumannian workbench, which are interesting enough to include in a recorded project of this kind. Schumann had already proved himself as a fine setter of Lenau’s poetry in the Op 90 songs of 1849. This little spring song was composed at the same time as the Vier Husarenlieder Op 117, although it is entirely different in mood from those sombre songs for baritone voice. The piano accompaniment here is very much in the style of the composer’s chamber music of the period. The response to the imagery of the mild spring winds stirring after the long winter is gently appropriate without being revelatory. The music has a kind of faded élan that warns us that the great days of the composer’s song-writing are coming to an end.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2007

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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