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Schumann: Das Paradies und die Peri / Quivar, Sinopoli

Schumann / Quivar / Staatskapelle
Release Date: 04/20/2010 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94065  
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Julia FaulknerFlorence QuivarRobert SwensenHeidi Grant Murphy,   ... 
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden StaatskapelleDresden State Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The true romantic spirit of Schumann reflected in most sensitive and responsive music-making.

This recording has been issued by Brilliant Classics as part of the celebrations of Schumann Year 2010.
 
Schumann’s oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri is based on Persian fairytales – an early break from the Biblical norm. The music is undulatingly romantic – smooth and suave. The music is pliable and honeyedly yielding in Schumann’s most warmly engaging manner in O susses Land. The choir sing most beautifully as in the wispy wailing seduction of Weh, weh, weh (tr. 8) and the haloed choral visions of O heil’ge tranen in Part III. Schmucket die stufen even has a touch
Read more of janissary jingle alongside a most intriguing Mahler pre-echo. There is climactic grandeur too as at the end of Part I but the predominant hallmark is a sort of delight in gentle romance as exemplified by Die Peri weint (tr.13). Operatic ardour can however be heard in the urgency of O lass mich sung by Heidi Grant Murphy, Und wie sie niederwarts sich schwingt in Part III and the final episode Freud’ ew’ge freude.
 
Perhaps because of the exigencies of live recording the sound quality is rather less than ample in the case of the violins; one soon attunes. It is though not a great surprise that in 1999 DG took down a studio recording from Christoph Prégardien, Bernarda Fink, Alexandra Coku, Barbara Bonney, Neill Archer, Gerald Finley, the Monteverdi Choir, Hanover Boys' Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and John Eliot Gardiner (457660).
 
The booklet gives the sung words in German only. No English translation.
 
The authentic romantic spirit of Schumann is reflected in a most sensitive and responsive performance but with some compromise in the violin tone. Interesting that when DG came to choose a Paradies for the recent 35 CD Schumann Masterworks box they went for John Eliot Gardiner rather than Sinopoli.
 
Sinopoli’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale is sensitively done but fairly buzzes in the Finale. This is a performance that pays heed to airy buoyancy and avoids a heavily-booted tread even in the zesty resolve of the Finale.  

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Das Paradies und die Peri, Op. 50 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Florence Quivar (Alto), Robert Swensen (Tenor),
Heidi Grant Murphy (Soprano), Keith Lewis (Tenor), Elisabeth Wilke (Alto),
Robert Hale (Baritone)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Germany 

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