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Romantic - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann

Romantic / Various (Box)
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 2908500  
Composer:  Robert SchumannFranz SchubertJohann Nepomuk HummelFrédéric Chopin,   ... 
Performer:  Roger VignolesBernarda FinkRégis PasquierJean-Claude Pennetier,   ... 
Conductor:  Marcus CreedPhilippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wanderer TrioBerlin RIAS Chamber ChorusCollegium Vocale,   ... 
Number of Discs: 10 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available from hmGold:

10-CD sets of Baroque music & of Choral Works


This ‘Romantic' set honours the great masters of European Romanticism, Beethoven, Hummel, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms. Here we range widely over the spirit of the nineteenth century, with solo vocal music, sacred choral works and chamber music, focusing on such masterpieces of the
Read more repertoire as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Brahms's German Requiem, the lieder of Schumann, and the Nocturnes and Preludes of Chopin. An unforgettable journey to the heart of Romantic passion and sensibility!
These titles were originally released between 1980 and 2010.

Reviews from some the original recordings that make up this set:

Schumann: Songs
Mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink is a very intelligent singer who seems to have a direct line to the heart of these Schumann songs. Most of the selections are concerned with various themes of love, from the famous cycle Frauenliebe und -leben and the Op. 90 set, to the hand-picked individual songs that fill out the program. Although the quality varies from some of Schumann’s finer efforts--the first and the last three songs of Op. 42; “Mignon”; “Der Nußbaum”; “Nachtlied”; most of Op. 90--to some of his least-inspired (the drippy wedding favorite “Du Ring an meinem Finger” and the annoyingly obvious song about a blacksmith, “Lied eines Schmiedes”), Fink and her unfailingly trusty accompanist Roger Vignoles instill each piece with careful expression of the musical lines and loving attention to text and poetic emphasis. Fink’s voice, which is never pushed or otherwise carelessly used, delivers a whole range of emotions, from deeply felt passion for a loved one, to pain and grief, to sheer delight. Underneath these expressions is an edge to the voice that suggests a singer who’s experienced the hurt, the ache, the exhilaration of love herself. The final “Requiem” from Op. 90 is both a masterpiece of songwriting and a model of effective vocal interpretation. The sound agreeably complements the voice but the piano could use more fullness in the bass and just a little more sparkle in the upper registers.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Schubert and Hummel: Quintets
We expect technical finesse and a thoughtful interpretive approach from the Wanderer Trio; these attributes are shared by the two ‘extras’, and together they make up a notably well integrated quintet. This is a finely controlled, highly polished performance of the Trout, and the recorded sound is excellent, too. It’s a treat to be so clearly aware of the double bass’s contribution to the texture and rhythm, without feeling that the internal balance is at all unnatural. These players don’t put a foot wrong; they negotiate all the awkward corners – between Scherzo and Trio and back again, for instance – with great confidence and conviction; they use Schubert’s dynamics and accents to characterise and enliven the musical expression, most notably in the finale, and they find the most appropriate bright, sparkling sonorities for this most carefree of Schubert’s chamber works.

The degree of control and organisation does perhaps leave little room for the individuality and spontaneity that makes the 1957 Curzon/ Vienna Octet recording, or the more recent version with Brendel and Zehetmair, so life-enhancing. But this would still be high on my Trout list, and the CD’s appeal is increased by the Hummel, a powerfully dramatic work, played with terrific energy and imagination. Vincent Coq relishes Hummel’s beautiful cantabile writing, half way between Mozart and Chopin, and Christophe Gaugué makes the most of some memorable, melancholy viola solos. Altogether, the performance is most impressive in the way that its verve is matched with such a strong sense of integration and balance.

– Duncan Druce, Gramophone

Beethoven: Missa solemnis
Herreweghe['s] speeds in the Kyrie and Agnus Dei are closer to latter-day convention, and more than Harnoncourt he conveys the work's deeply spiritual intensity. More than with Harnoncourt one registers this as live, tense communication. Even at the start with its odd balance, there is no mistaking the inner quality conveyed, the Innigkeit, the sense of embarking on a visionary journey...

Though the balance of the voices, both of chorus and soloists, blunts their edge to a degree, the sharpness of attack is refreshing, amply justifying a performance on a relatively intimate, period scale, aided by the extra tang of the orchestral texture with its rasping brass. The four young soloists make an excellent team, most satisfyingly topped by the sweet, firm tone of the Canadian soprano, Rosa Mannion, previously heard as Dorabella in the Gardiner Cosi (Archiv). The American tenor, James Taylor, clear and fresh, makes his mark strongly too as another relative newcomer to disc, incisive rather than weighty in the great statement of "Et homo factus est"...

– Gramophone

Brahms Requiem
Though Philippe Herreweghe made his reputation in early music, his recent discography has crept ever forwards, with oratorios by Mendelssohn, and works by Schumann and Berlioz featuring prominently. So Brahms is a natural progression, and since the composer’s own deep interest in older masters suffuses the Requiem, an early-music background comes in handy. The singing of his combined choirs is a joy: finely schooled and immaculately balanced, yet with feeling in the tone. It took me only a few bars to get used to the vibrato-free string sound, and both conductor and sound engineers enable us to hear a maximum of orchestral detail. The soloists, too, prove well suited to their tasks."

– George Hall, BBC Music Magazine

Chopin: Preludes
Previous recordings by French pianist Alain Planès have been praised in these pages: He has recorded Debussy, Schubert, Janá?ek, and Chabrier, a mixed group that suggests the pianist's range of expression. Here he plays Chopin on an exquisitely warm and yet evidently delicate American Steinway manufactured in 1906. Jacques Drillon describes the instrument as different from a modern Steinway mainly in the shape of the key cheeks. He continues: "The keyboard is unusually light; it is thus both more agreeable to [the] touch and more delicate, requiring of the pianist a finer control of his touch, guarding against unforeseen caprices of the instrument. . . It is not a virile piano."

Virile or not, this piano sounds solid, if less absolutely electric than a modern instrument. The sound of the piano is a plus in this recording. Of course, it is Planès's playing that matters most. It can be thrilling, as in the Prelude No. 16 in B? Minor, the furious little work that demands expressiveness and speed and the ability, which Planès clearly has, to keep the melodic as well as the rhythmic flow going. It's a talent he demonstrates almost everywhere. The exceptions include an unaccountably lackadaisical Prelude in B?. The extreme variations in volume to which he subjects this piece doesn't make up for a tempo that sounds too slow, and a curious lack of tension. I hear something similar in the beginning of the Berceuse.

I call that fault unaccountable because it is rare in Planès's playing. Although I have heard brighter, more dramatic accounts of the four Mazurkas included here, Planès makes the most of a generally relaxed, if not overly delicate, approach. His sound is ravishing, his playing appealing. This is a superior, if not definitive, Chopin offering.

– Michael Ullman, Fanfare

Schumann: Dichterliebe and Liederkreis
You can't go wrong with Werner Güra's traversal of Schumann's best-known song cycles. He displays an attractive, fine-grained timbre, especially in his ravishing soft singing, and throughout these 28 songs he projects a spontaneity and communicativeness that with few exceptions draws you deep into Schumann's sound-world. Those exceptions are minor alongside the general excellence of this disc--occasionally, as in Auf einer Burg, there's a slight lack of sustained tension at slow tempos, and we could wish for a darker tone to convey the dread that suffuses Zweilicht. But against that, we have singing that's a throwback to the time when lieder singers didn't dot every "i", cross every "t", and distort the musical line by stressing every syllable that appears to have meaning.

Instead, Güra's relatively straightforward singing fully conveys the meanings of Schumann's settings of Eichendorff and Heine poems through vocal means alone. He proves here that a singer doesn't need to indulge in mannerisms to precisely capture the mood of longing and regret in In der Fremde and Ich hab im Traum geweinet. He also imparts a sense of wonder to Mondnacht and brings a full range of emotions to Die alten bösen Lieder. Güra also can swell his voice for dramatic effect as in Schöne Fremde, and while his legato singing will not make you abandon your old Fritz Wunderlich records, it is among his strong points.

Tempos are all judicious, and where Güra chooses a questionable one, such as his leisurely-paced Ich will meine Seele tauchen, he makes it work through his sustained line and pianist Jan Schultsz's animated accompaniment. Schultsz is himself one of the attractions of this disc; his playing is a model of hand-in-glove sensitivity to Güra's every phrase, and time and again you are drawn to his careful turns of phrase and beautiful tone."

– Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 20 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Gedichte (7), Op. 90 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Lieder Album für die Jugend, Op. 79: no 28, Mignon by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Myrthen, Op. 25: no 3, Der Nussbaum by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Lieder und Gesänge iii, Op. 77: no 5, Aufträge by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Myrthen, Op. 25: no 7, Die Lotosblume by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Gedichte (6), Op. 36: no 2, Ständchen by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Lieder und Gesänge iv, Op. 96: no 1, Nachtlied by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Lieder Album für die Jugend, Op. 79: no 12, Der Sandmann by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Romances and Ballades iv, Op. 64: no 2, Das verlassne Mägdelein by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Gesänge (3), Op. 31: no 2, Die Kartenlegerin by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Bernarda Fink (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Neumarkt, Reitstadel, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in B flat major, D 898/Op. 99 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Régis Pasquier (Violin), Jean-Claude Pennetier (Piano), Roland Pidoux (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1828; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 39 Minutes 39 Secs. 
13.
Sonata for Piano in A major, D 664/Op. 120 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Jean-Claude Pennetier (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819/1825; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 20 Minutes 19 Secs. 
14.
Quintet for Piano and Strings in A major, D 667/Op. 114 "Trout" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Christophe Gaugué (Viola), Stéphane Logerot (Double Bass), Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian (Violin),
Raphaël Pidoux (Cello), Vincent Coq (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wanderer Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 36 Minutes 41 Secs. 
15.
Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass in E flat major, Op. 87 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer:  Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian (Violin), Vincent Coq (Piano), Raphaël Pidoux (Cello),
Stéphane Logerot (Double Bass), Christophe Gaugué (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wanderer Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 20 Minutes 4 Secs. 
16.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
17.
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 41 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1840; Paris, France 
18.
Barcarolle for Piano in F sharp major, B 158/Op. 60 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Paris, France 
19.
Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
20.
Nocturne for Piano in C sharp minor, B 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830 
21.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 1 in B flat minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Length: 5 Minutes 46 Secs. 
22.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
23.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 3 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Length: 6 Minutes 36 Secs. 
24.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 1 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
25.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 2 in F sharp major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
26.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 3 in G minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
27.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor, B 91 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
28.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 27: no 2 in D flat major, B 96 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 46 Secs. 
29.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 106/Op. 32: no 1 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1837; Paris, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
30.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 106/Op. 32: no 2 in A flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1837; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 
31.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 37: no 1 in G minor, B 119 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Paris, France 
Length: 6 Minutes 47 Secs. 
32.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 37: no 2 in G major, B 127 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
33.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 142/Op. 48: no 1 in C minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
34.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 142/Op. 48: no 2 in F sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
35.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55: no 1 in F minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
36.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Paris, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 33 Secs. 
37.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 161/Op. 62: no 1 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Length: 7 Minutes 24 Secs. 
38.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 161/Op. 62: no 2 in E major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Length: 6 Minutes 14 Secs. 
39.
Nocturne for Piano in E minor, B 19/Op. 72 no 1 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
40.
Nocturne for Piano in C sharp minor, B 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
41.
Nocturne for Piano in C minor, B 108 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
42.
Motets (2), Op. 74 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863-1877; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1994-1995 
Length: 16 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: German 
43.
Fest und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1889; Austria 
Length: 9 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: German 
44.
Motets (3), Op. 110 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Austria 
Length: 9 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: German 
45.
Missa canonica, WoO 18 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
46.
Motets (2), Op. 29 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1860; Germany 
Length: 12 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: German 
47.
German Requiem, Op. 45 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Vocale,  Champs-Élysées Orchestra,  La Chapelle Royale Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1868; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1/1996 
Venue:  Live Montreux, Switzerland 
48.
Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann (Bass), Birgit Remmert (Alto), Rosa Mannion (Soprano),
James Taylor (Tenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale,  Champs-Élysées Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
49.
Liederkreis, Op. 24 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
50.
Dichterliebe, Op. 48 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Werner Güra (Tenor), Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 

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