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Schubert: Lieder / Sharon Rostofr-Zamir, Daniel Gortler


Release Date: 10/28/2008 
Label:  Roméo Records   Catalog #: 7265   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Sharon Rostorf-ZamirDaniel Gortler
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUBERT Im Frühling. Der Musensohn. Ganymed. Auf dem Wasser zu singen. Bei dir allein. Die junge Nonne. Der Einsame. Suleika 1. Sehnsucht. Suleika 2. Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt. An Sylvia. Gretchen am Spinnrade. Fischerweise. Heidenröslein. An die Musik Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (sop); Daniel Gortler (pn) ROMÉO 7265 (55:45 Text and Translation)


Sharon Rostorf-Zamir’s recital of Schumann Lieder (Roméo 7260) several months back took me completely by surprise Read more because of her incredibly intense, intensely feminine, deeply felt interpretations. Thus I greeted the present disc more in the nature of a promise to be fulfilled than curiosity to be answered, and in most ways I was fulfilled. Indeed, my only disappointment was in the sound quality, a bit too over-reverberant for my taste.


As noted in my review of her Schumann disc, Rostorf-Zamir has a very nice voice, if not one that can be described as golden or aurally stunning, but voice as an end to itself is not her strength. It is what she does with that voice, the way it was with Elena Gerhardt, Karl Erb, Jan DeGaetani, and other great artists in this genre, which marks her as one of the best singers in this field.


From the very first notes of Im Frühling , one is aware of this great spiritual intensity and musical commitment. Hers is very post-modern Schubert: gone are moments of lingering, the rubato and ritards of Leo Slezak, Elisabeth Schumann, even John McCormack and Gerhard Hüsch. In their place one hears crisp phrasing and steady tempos without the slightest bow to Old Vienna tradition, and pianist Daniel Gortler is with her every step of the way. Gortler’s playing is crisper, less warm, than that of Jonathan Zak on her Schumann recital. This is not meant as a criticism so much as a definition, yet there’s no question in my mind that this partnership explores a greater intent to present Schubert as an emotionally direct setter of texts rather than the dreamy Romantic he was so often depicted as in the past.


Given the range of her instrument, it was perhaps wise to exclude such voice-challenging Lied as Die Erlkönig or Der Tod und das Mädchen , but there’s something else at work here. With the exceptions of Die junge Nonne and Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt , these are songs about nature and love, of taking joy in this very precious world we have and our place in it. Perhaps—and this is only my supposition—this recital is Rostorf-Zamir’s personal response to a world in turmoil and out of balance with the natural order of things, her way of saying to all of us: “Look around you, listen to these words, enjoy life and live! ” I infer this not only from her wide-awake, decidedly undreamy readings of Im Frühling and Bei dir allein , but also from the very fast tempos she chose for Der Musensohn and Suleika 2.


To digress for a moment. To me, the most extraordinary scene in the film Casablanca is the one where Dooley Wilson sings and plays Knock on Wood . It’s a typically cheery, upbeat, almost inane song about living life to the fullest. But look at the faces of those in the club as they listen intently and rap their knuckles on the table. They are a population gripped in fear that the world around them is crumbling into the ruins of war and inflation, a desperate emotional response to a desperate situation. This recital by Rostorf-Zamir strikes exactly that same chord with me. Listen not only to the way she sings Gretchen am Spinnrade but also to how she follows the outcry, “My peace is gone, my heart is heavy,” with yet another song of almost manic cheeriness, Fischerweise . Whether intentional or not, her intense emotionality reaches out through the speakers and grabs your heart.


There are few artists nowadays who inspire such deep emotional feelings in me, but Sharon does this. She has so much to give of herself, I almost feel as if she completely opens her heart to us when she sings.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Im Frühling, D 882/Op. 101 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano), Daniel Gortler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
2. Der Musensohn, D 764/Op. 92 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
3. Ganymed, D 544/Op. 19 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
4. Refrainlieder (4), D 866/Op. 95: no 2, Bei dir allein by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
5. Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D 774/Op. 72 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
6. Die junge Nonne, D 828/Op. 43 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
7. Der Einsame, D 800 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
8. Sehnsucht, D 879/Op. 105 no 4 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
9. An Sylvia, D 891/Op. 106 no 4 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
10. Gretchen am Spinnrade, D 118/Op. 2 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1814; Vienna, Austria 
11. Fischerweise, D 881 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
12. Heidenröslein, D 257/Op. 3 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
13. An die Musik, D 547 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Daniel Gortler (Piano), Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
14. Gesänge (4) aus Wilhelm Meister, D 877/Op. 62: no 4, Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano), Daniel Gortler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
15. Suleika no 1, D 720 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano), Daniel Gortler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1821; Vienna, Austria 
16. Suleika no 2, D 717/Op. 31 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (Soprano), Daniel Gortler (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Vienna, Austria 

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