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Robert Schumann – Duets (1999)

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Robert Schumann – Duets (1999)

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1.	Landliches Lied Op. 29 Nr. 1	1:57
2.	Liebesgarten Op. 34 Nr. 1	3:35
3.	Liebtiabers Standchen Op. 34 Nr. 2	2:11
4.	Unterm Fenster Op. 34 Nr. 3	1:33
5.	Familien-Gemalde Op. 34 Nr. 4	3:42
6.	Schon Ist Das Fest Des Lenzes Op. 37 Nr. 7	0:57
7.	So Wahr Die Sonne Scheinet Op. 37 Nr. 12	1:54
8.	Wenn Ichein Vb'gleinwar Op. 43 Nr. 1	1:31
9.	Herbstlied Op. 43 Nr. 2	1:57
10.	Schon Blumelein Op. 43 Nr. 3	1:55
11.	Intermezzo Op. 74 Nr. 2	1:07
12.	Liebesgram Op. 74 Nr. 3	2:11
13.	In Der Nacht Op. 74 Nr.4	4:56
14.	Tanzlied Op. 78 Nr. 1	2:31
15.	Er Und Sie Op. 78 Nr. 2	3:08
16.	Ich Denke Dein Op. 78 Nr. 3	2:33
17.	Wiegenlied Am Lager Eines Kranken Kindes Op. 78 Nr. 4	2:22
18.	Mailied Op. 79 Nr. 10	1:03
19.	Das Gluck Op. 79 Nr. 16	0:52
20.	Fruhlingslied Op. 79 Nr. 19	2:39
21.	Die Schwalben Op. 79 Nr. 21	1:01
22.	Ich Bin Dein Baum Op. 101 Nr. 3	3:37
23.	Die Tausend Gruse, Die Wir Dirsenden Op. 101 Nr. 7	1:38
24.	Bedeckt Mich Mil Blumen Op. 138 Nr. 4	2:47
25.	Blaue Augen Hat Das Madchen Op. 138 Nr.9	2:29
26.	Sommerruh O. Op.(1849)	2:41
27.	Die Lotosblume Op. 33 Nr. 3	1:51

Julia Varády (Soprano)
Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Christoph Eschenbach (Piano)

 

...interesting, neglected material performed to perfection with texts and translations provided. Although Schumann’s duets were primarily intended for home performance around the piano, they benefit enormously from readings by such fine artists as the three taking part in this recital – recorded in 1977, but sounding as if committed to disc yesterday, so excellent is the sound, so spontaneous the singing.

Fischer-Dieskau claims the lion’s share of the programme, duetting in turn with his wife Varady and with Schreier. Just occasionally, as in the delightful serenade, ‘Unterm Fenster’ from the Op. 34 Duets (once unforgettably recorded by Lehmann and Melchior, RCA, 10/90), one wishes he had given place to his tenor colleague, who is in most ingratiating, mellifluous voice. The young Varady, with her vibrant tone and intense manner, is just as winning as her partners, nowhere more so than for ‘In der Nacht’. As JW suggested in his original review (8/80), this is a setting that goes deeper than any of the other duets. Over a sinuous, chromatic obbligato on the piano, Schumann weaves a long, elegiac line for the voices. Wolf also set this text memorably and it’s interesting to hear what Schumann does with another poem, Bedeckt mich mit Blumen, set so unforgettably by Wolf: the writing here has little of Wolf’s intensity but has its own validity when sung with such romantic passion by the two men.

That’s immediately followed by the pair hugely enjoying themselves in the paean to the beloved, ‘Blaue Augen hat das Madchen’. Finally there’s a fascinating alternative version for two voices of the Heine poem Die Lotusblume, one of the composer’s most popular pieces in his solo setting. Eschenbach’s vivid, positive playing is another notable asset of this highly recommendable issue. --- Alan Blyth, Gramophone

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