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Track(s) taken from CDJ33109

Soldatenlied, WoO6

First line:
Ein scheckiges Pferd
before January 1844
author of text

Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: January 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2004
Total duration: 0 minutes 42 seconds


'The simplest songs, often unpromising on the page, are done with touching ingenuousness and candour. Both singers are natural storytellers with a twinkling sense of fun' (BBC Music Magazine)

'In the piano pieces and songs alike, Johnson plays with luminous tone and a natural feeling for Schumannesque rubato. And as ever, his sleeve notes alone are worth the price of the disc' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Lott, Murray and Johnson tap stright into that tender warmth and intimacy—and there's the perpetual sense that these performers are close friends who love making music together' (Classic FM Magazine)

'As you can probably gather from what I've written thus far, there's so much to enjoy and think about on this disc that it's hard to know just what to single out for further discussion or praise. Since every bit of the music is presented as winningly as possible, all in warm, natural sound that perfectly complements the Gestalt of the material, let me therefore just speed you toward your nearest vendor by saying that this disc could not be more highly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)
At last we come to the tiny little song which played an important part in turning Schumann’s thoughts towards composing the Liederalbum für die Jugend in the first place. ‘In the beginning there was Soldatenlied’, as a scholar has recently written about Schumann’s connection with the poet, the single most significant thing in the development of Op 79 (see commentary on the poets above). In Hoffmann’s Gedichte of 1834 the poet’s son makes an appearance in a cycle of ten poems. The original heading of this one, the third, was ‘The way in which Sigismund played at being a soldier was sung as follows’. The references to ‘Mein Bub’’ (‘my boy’) cast the proud father as observer. For the poem’s appearance in his Fünfzig neue Kinderlieder (to which Schumann was invited to contribute this song) Hoffmann puts the words directly in the mouth of the child. The music seems an ideal piece of children’s music; it is easy to sing and play, but it also has a remarkably catchy tune. The musical structure develops in such an inevitable way that the final punch line (‘Zu Bett, Kamerad!’) has the panache of a coup de grâce, albeit executed with a wooden sword. The curtain falls. Sleep the commander has spoken, and we must all go to bed.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2004

Other albums featuring this work

Schumann: The Complete Songs
CDS44441/5010CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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