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The Op 107 songs are united by a mood of wistful other-worldliness. The theme is unreciprocated love, whether it is poor suicidal Ophelia in love with Hamlet, the gardener in love with a princess, a girl spinning a trousseau in vain and so on. This is not tragic music, rather does it contain the delicate half-lights of fairytale and fantasy.The characters, some of them folk-tale archetypes, all seem to come from old German picture-books The music seems fragile and much responsibility lies in the hands of the performers who need to have a light touch to find the correct transparency of texture. As a whole the cycle has many exquisite moments and cries out not to be measured by the standards of the 1840 songs. Aribert Reimann has made an arrangement of this set for string quartet and voice; for this he transposes the music into higher keys.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996
|Schumann: The Complete Songs|
Schumann’s songs are among the greatest musical achievements of the nineteeth century, and this is the perfect release with which to mark the composer’s 200th birthday. This marvellous collection comprises Schumann’s complete songs, presented for ...» More
|Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 - Christine Schäfer|
'Schäfer evokes comparison with Elisabeth Schumann and with the young Elly Ameling, whom in tone and freshness of response she often resembles. In sum ...
'Her voice combines ethereal radiance and clarity with resolute, unwavering focus. Johnson's account of the piano parts is superlative [and] his bookl ...» More
'In the best Graham Johnson style, the disc is instructive and fun at the same time' (Gramophone)
'First prize at the most prestigious of Flower Shows' (Soundscapes, Australia)» More
'The most delightful and varied song recital I've come across all year' (The Guardian)» More