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Schumann emerges best. Few things in his output are more endearing than the songs of the Dichterliebe cycle. Not long after his September marriage to Clara, he could total a hundred songs for 1840. In early November he was still at it, and Clara could only wonder: 'Robert is busily composing lieder and always freshly; where indeed do they come from?' The Partridges are here at their most inspired, warmly lyrical and tender, as for instance in 'Ich will meine Seele tauchen' [listen -- 5 86181 2 CD2 track 5, 0:00-1:08]. Recorded a year on from the Schubert, this CD is more consistently apt.

The liner notes to the Partridge cycles end with a tribute to the late Eric Sams, who lavished love and learning on the elucidation of songs recorded here, and many more. EMI has simply quoted in his memory four Eichendorff lines from 'Mondnacht', chosen by Schumann as one of the poems for the Op 39 Liederkreis. Last of the song's three stanzas, it is suitable comment on the achievement of a dedicated scholar. A translation might run, 'And my soul spread wide its wings, flew over quiet lands, as if it was flying home.' 'Mondnacht' was recorded when Eric's wit and wisdom were vibrantly alive, but this performance can fittingly remember him [listen -- 5 86181 2 CD2 track 21, 2:30-4:03].

Copyright © 16 February 2005 Robert Anderson, Calcutta, India


Schubert and Schumann Song Cycles

5 86181 2 ADD Stereo REISSUE/COMPILATION (2 CDs) 62'44"/54'20" - TT 117'04" 1973, 1974, 1994, 1995, 2004 EMI Records Ltd

Ian Partridge, tenor; Jennifer Partridge, piano

Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Die schöne Müllerin D795; Robert Schumann (1810-1856): Dichterliebe Op 48; Robert Schumann: Liederkreis Op 39


Schubert: Winterreise - Ian Bostridge, Leif Ove Andsnes

5 57790 2 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 69'27" 2004 EMI Records Ltd

Ian Bostridge, tenor; Leif Ove Andsnes, piano

Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Winterreise D911 (words Wilhelm Müller)


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