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Schumann: Complete Part Songs For Male Voices / Die Singphoniker

Schumann / Die Singphoniker
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777521-2   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUMANN Mache deinem Meister Ehre . 6 Lieder, op. 33 . 3 Lieder, op. 62 . 3 nachgelassene Lieder. Ritornelle. Jagdlieder, op. 137 Die Singphoniker CPO 777 521-2 (61:12 Text and Translation)


Having recorded on five CDs to critical acclaim the complete part-songs for male Read more voice of Schubert, Die Singphoniker now turns its most welcome attentions to the similar complete part-songs of Schumann. In a sense this disc represents the ensemble coming full circle; on its first CD, an anthology for Wergo back in 1987, it performed four of the op. 33 songs now presented here complete. While these pieces form only a small part of the composer’s oeuvre , they nonetheless reflect musical and personal values dear to him. The op. 33 songs were composed in 1840 in response to an article by the prominent pedagogue Eduard Krüger published in Schumann’s own Neue Zeitschrift für Musik , wherein Krüger dismissed four-part male songs as an “exaggerated modish folly” of little value due to the restricted forces and voice ranges involved. Schumann’s compositional riposte was to create more complex examples of the genre with divisi parts in order to expose the folly of Krüger’s narrow-minded views. The four songs without opus numbers, composed in 1847 and 1848, had a different impetus; their texts overtly expressed Schumann’s political sympathies for the 1848 uprisings that shook much of Germany, and when those rebellions were quashed the pieces were quietly stowed away, not to be published until between 1913 and 1928. The op. 62 and op. 137 pieces were composed in 1847 and 1849, at a time when Schumann, following his well-known practice of concentrating intensely on exploring a single genre, wrote numerous settings for various choral forces.


In reviewing a miscellaneous recital disc of Die Singphoniker back in Fanfare 22:1, Henry Fogel wrote, “These six singers (one of whom doubles as pianist on the few occasions when the group requires one) have it all—musicality, technique, wit, ears (with which to balance the voices and maintain perfect intonation). Most of all, what they have is imagination, and a keen sense of what will work.” To that list of musical virtues I would add exquisite diction, breath control, and dynamic shading—in short, this is a model chamber vocal ensemble. On the present occasion the group has added one guest singer (baritone Philip Niederberger) for three of the op. 65 pieces, and a horn quartet from the Stuttgart Radio Symphony for five op. 137 pieces. I do have a reservation about the recorded sound; while clear, it is rather up-close and seems a bit antiseptic and disembodied due to a lack of sufficient spatial placement and perspective. German and English texts are provided, along with copious and informative booklet notes. This is lovely and delightful repertoire, and anyone who values it will snap up this disc forthwith.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Zum Anfang, WoO 17 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
2.
Lieder (6), Op. 33 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 11 Minutes 30 Secs. 
3.
Gesänge (3) für Männerchor, op. 62 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 10 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4.
Freiheitsgesänge (3): no 2, Schwarz-Rot-Gold, WoO 14 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
5.
Freiheitsgesänge (3): no 3, Deutscher Freiheitsgesang, WoO 15 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Germany 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6.
Freiheitsgesänge (3): no 1, Zu den Waffen, WoO 13 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7.
Ritornelle (8) in canonische Weisen, Op. 65 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 10 Minutes 3 Secs. 
8.
Ritornelle (8) in canonische Weisen, Op. 65: no 8, Hätte zu einem Traubenkerne by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
9.
Gesänge (5) aus Heinrich Laubes Jagdbrevier, Op. 137 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849 
Venue:  Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart 
Length: 15 Minutes 18 Secs. 

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