Bernarda Fink covers herself in glory in a discerning selection of Schumann Lieder
Here is another‚ very special disc of Schumann Lieder to join the plethora recently issued. Bernarda Fink we know as a superb interpreter of Baroque works. Here she proves conclusively that she can be just as compelling in German song. For a start few accounts of any of these pieces are quite so beautifully and effortlessly sung. Not a note in this hour long recital is ugly or mishandled; everything is projected on a stream of perfectly produced‚ mellow mezzo tone.
That is in itself almost enough to recommend the disc. But Fink has so much more to offer. Her interpretation of the oft recorded Frauenliebe cycle is not oneRead more with the kind of overwhelming emotional tug evinced‚ in their different ways‚ by Baker and von Otter‚ yet in her slightly more reticent way Fink conveys just as much feeling as her rivals. Her sweet‚ reflective‚ slightly vibrant tone very much calls to mind Seefried’s and Isokoski’s equally artless style among soprano versions. When the inner joy of wedded bliss and then the terrible tragedy of the loved one’s death are of the essence‚ Fink goes to the heart of the matter. With Roger Vignoles as a sympathetic and positive partner‚ Fink’s version deserves to be equated with those of her distinguished predecessors listed above as a recommendation.
After that there is no anticlimax in the other performances. The very familiar ‘Nussbaum’ and ‘Aufträge’ are as delightfully eager and spontaneous as they ought to be. Those ineffably Schumannesque pieces‚ ‘Die Lotosblume’ and‚ in the Op 90 settings of Lenau‚ ‘Meine Rose’‚ receive treatment‚ in timbre and line and verbal assurance that would be hard to better. Then Fink reminds us that ‘Mignon’ and ‘Das verlassene Mägdelein’‚ which Wolf later set so memorably‚ received just as inspiring a response from Schumann‚ at least when as cogently sung as they are here. In a lighter vein Fink catches almost all the cheekiness of the highly original ‘Die Kartenlegerin’.
All in all‚ there is a cornucopia of good things here with Vignoles always there to support the singer in his own typically insightful way. The recording has the singer blessedly forward so one catches the true flavour of her voice and words. This is‚ then, a joy from start to finish.
-- Gramophone [7/2002, reviewing the original release] Read less
Works on This Recording
Myrthen, Op. 25: no 3, Der Nussbaumby Robert Schumann Performer:
Roger Vignoles (Piano),
Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic Written: 1840; Germany Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs.
Gedichte (6), Op. 36: no 2, Ständchenby Robert Schumann Performer:
Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano),
Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic Written: 1840; Germany Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs.