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Kinkel: 32 Songs / Schmithüsen, Palm


Release Date: 10/31/2006 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777140   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Ingrid SchmithüsenThomas Palm
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



KINKEL 32 Songs Ingrid Schmithüsen (sop); Thomas Palm (fp) cpo 777 140 (78:38 & )


Now this is a discovery. Johanna [nee Mockel] Kinkel (1810–1858) seems to have been quite a remarkable woman and personality, as well as a friend and acquaintance to some of the leading figures of German Romanticism. Her ambitions were, however, tamped down by the oppressions of the staid provincial social world of Bonn. Although she achieved some local success Read more with her first opus composed for the local musical society, her mother reacted with horror and severity when she announced her intention to make a living in music, and catalyzed the girl’s marriage to a wealthy book and music dealer from Cologne named Johann Paul Mathieux. However, the marriage fell apart from its beginning, and Johanna’s parents brought her back to Bonn to resume her work with the music society. Mendelssohn had a chance to hear her play in Frankfurt and recommended her for further study in Berlin, and a letter from Clemens Brentano, whom she also met in Frankfurt, opened the doors to his sister Bettina von Arnim’s salon.


In Berlin, Johanna was able to finance her continuing music education by giving lessons, meanwhile performing as a singer and pianist with Fanny Hensel’s Matinée Concerts. There, she also met the poets Adalbert von Chamisso and Emanuel Geibel (famed for the “Spanische” and “Italienische” poems Wolf would later set), the latter of whom had studied theology in Bonn with a young Lutheran theologian named Gottfried Kinkel.


Most of her song settings stemmed from this Berlin sojourn until the beginning of 1839, and they received positive press notices from no less than the poet and music critic Ludwig Rellstab (not known for his positive view of women) and Robert Schumann. However, Johanna broke off relations with the composer in response to the patronizing tone in which he stated his astonishment at the accomplishments of a “woman composer.”


In 1839, she finally achieved legal separation from Mathieux and had to return to Bonn to endure the messy divorce proceedings. But she also had the opportunity to meet Geibel’s teacher, with whom she quickly struck up a secret relationship, widely construed as scandalous. He was already engaged, and, further, Johanna was Catholic, and thus an unseemly object for the affections of a respected Lutheran scholar. After saving Johanna’s life in a boating accident on the Rhine, Gottfried broke off his engagement and went public with their relationship.


Once married, the Kinkels set up shop as leading musical and poetic lights in Bonn, collaborated on song settings and drafted plans for an opera that never came to fruition. Johanna Kinkel converted to Lutheranism and the two were married in 1843. Four children and ongoing performance preparation and promotional duties with the local music society interfered with any of Johanna’s compositional ambitions, but she was able during this time to publish many of the songs written during her Berlin years.


This album, “An Immaginary Voyage through Europe,” arranges 32 of her songs by country as a kind of travelogue, from the Rhineland to Italy, Scotland, France—the worlds of revolution, childhood, the supernatural, and back to Germany. Such a thematic treatment makes for a striking recital, and actually teases out musical trends that would be less apparent from a conventional chronological approach. Although there are settings of individual poems by Heine and Goethe, the majority are by her husband Gottfried and herself, with a handful by her friend Geibel.


Hers is a fresh, if thoroughly conventional musical voice, and her omission from the “reduced narrative” of music history is more than mere sexism. One will look in vain for harmonic experimentation beyond expressive modal shifts, or for pianistic accompaniment beyond colorful passagework. Her melodic gifts, on the other hand are winning if unassuming. This is salon music in the extreme, but nonetheless interesting for that. Although some of the strophic songs (which predominate) outlast their welcome, many tease and satisfy the ear, especially in performances delivered with such conviction as those on this disc.


Soprano Schmithüsen employs a strikingly lovely combination of tight vibrato and judicious use of straight tones, and an unerring sense of pitch. More to the point, she is an ideal interpreter for this sort of recital, finding different shadings for the different moods and highlighting individual words and phrases to relieve the occasional monotony. One example is the way she spits out the word grausam (“gruesome”) in the fourth song ( Vorüberfahrt , text by the composer). Such attention to verbal detail betrays her tutelage under the great Fischer-Dieskau. She has appeared throughout Europe as a festival soloist and Lieder recitalist, and has recorded Schoenberg’s reduction of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde , as well as many of the volumes in Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach project. One looks forward to hearing her assay other central works in the German Lied canon.


Although many of the songs can seem facelessly pleasant, some stand out for their elegance, particularly in the “Spanish” set” where the songs Schwarze Augen and Die Mandoline move with an earnest, memorable sweep. Kinkel’s artistry emerges strongly in Die Mandoline , where an abstract soulfulness transcends the expected strumming of the keyboard. Among the “Italian” songs, her setting of her husband’s Römische Nacht is hauntingly hymn-like, and Schmithüsen aptly captures the delicate, floating melody of Blaue Augen . It is interesting that some of this composer’s heightened inspirations should be to poems of physical description, but that pattern is redeemed again and again on this recording. Memorable, too, are two political songs, again to texts by her husband. Auf, wohl auf ihr Candioten seems to quote the abstracted idea of a national anthem in midstream.


The use of fortepiano enhances the sense of intimacy; and cpo’s engineering is clear and naturally well balanced. Perhaps this is more a curiosity than a vital addition to one’s general Lieder collection, but it is a more vital purchase for listeners who are actively curious about the 19th-century culture of the Lied and its interactions with literary Romanticism.


FANFARE: Christopher Williams
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Works on This Recording

1. Lieder (6), Op. 7: no 4, Die Lorelei by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano), Thomas Palm (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
2. Lieder (6), Op. 15: no 6, War hinaus gezogen by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1841; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
3. Lieder (6), Op. 10: no 6, Der Müllerin Nachbar by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1841; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
4. Lieder (6), Op. 7: no 3, Vorüberfahrt by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
5. Lieder (6), Op. 18: no 6, Stürmisch Wandern by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1843; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
6. Gedichte (6) von Emanuel Geibel, Op. 8: no 1, Der Spanische Zitherknabe by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano), Thomas Palm (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
7. Lieder (6) für eine tiefe Stimme, Op. 17: no 2, Schwarze Augen by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1847; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
8. Lieder (6), Op. 19: no 1, Die Mandoline by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1848; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
9. Lieder (6), Op. 7: no 1, Nachtlied by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
10. Lieder (6), Op. 7: no 6, Die Zigeuner by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
11. Lieder (6), Op. 15: no 1, Römische Nacht by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1841; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
12. Gedichte (6) von Emanuel Geibel, Op. 8: no 3, Gondellied by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
13. Lieder (6), Op. 15: no 2, Du nahst by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1841; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
14. Lieder (6), Op. 7: no 2, Wunsch by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
15. Lieder (6) für eine tiefe Stimme, Op. 17: no 1, Blaue Augen by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1847; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
16. Lieder (6), Op. 16: no 3, Abschied von Italien by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
17. Gilderoy by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
18. Oh, open the door, Lord Gregory by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
19. Auld Rob Morris by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
20. Lieder (6) für eine tiefe Stimme, Op. 21: no 4, Provençalisches Lied by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1851; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
21. Lieder (6), Op. 19: no 4, Beduinenromanze by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1848; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
22. Lieder (6) für eine tiefe Stimme, Op. 21: no 5, Abendlied nach der Schlacht by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1851; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
23. Lieder (6), Op. 18: no 3, Auf, wohl auf Ihr Candioten by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1843; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
24. Demokratenlied by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
25. Lied von den Eisenbahn by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
26. Lied von den Hummel by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
27. Lieder (6), Op. 10: no 4, Wiegenlied by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1841; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
28. Gedichte (6) von Emanuel Geibel, Op. 8: no 4, Abendfeier by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Thomas Palm (Fortepiano), Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
29. Lieder (6), Op. 19: no 6, Thurm und Fluth by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano), Thomas Palm (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1848; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 
30. Lieder (6), Op. 6: no 3, Die Geister haben's vernommen by Johanna Kinkel
Performer:  Ingrid Schmithüsen (Soprano), Thomas Palm (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1838; Germany 
Venue:  Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany 
Notes: Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal, Germany (12/20/2004 - 12/23/2004) 

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