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Schubert: Lieder / Gruberova, Schmalcz


Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Nightingale Classics   Catalog #: 652   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita GruberovaAlexander Schmalcz
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUBERT Delphine. Klärchens Lied. Erlafsee. Gretchen am Spinnrade. Rastlose Liebe. Der Fluss. Non t’accostar all’urna. Guarda, che bianca luna. Da quel sembiante appresi. Mio ben ricordati. La pastorella al prato. Vedi quanto adoro. Suleika I. Suleika II. Lied der Mignon ( Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt ). Der Schmetterling. Heidenröslein. Am Strome. Die Forelle. Lied der Mignon ( So lasst mich scheinen ) Read more Edita Gruberova (sop); Alexander Schmalcz (pn) NIGHTINGALE CLASSICS 000065-2 (62:56)


I very much like Edita Gruberova. I consider her among the greatest of operatic sopranos before the public today. But, I must temper my enthusiasm for the singer by saying that being a great operatic singer does not guarantee that one will be a great Lieder singer as well. The solo song is a very different genre from opera and requires a very different temperament, especially in its more intimate, inward-looking moments. Gruberova’s recital is fascinating in that she has tailored the program to suit not just her voice, but her personality as well. There are moments throughout the recital in which it seems as though certain songs were written just for her. Der Fluss, a highly lyrical song requiring a beautiful tone and the ability to float above the accompaniment is one such example, and it plays to her best strengths. Just listen to how her voice changes in the second stanza’s line, Die Silbermasse, schlangengleich gewunden . Both musical and poetic lines are rendered sublime. The Italian songs, especially those with very simple accompaniments, almost operatic in a way, requiring the singer to characterize her emotions through song, are equally splendid. Non t’accostar all’urna and Mio ben ricordati both attest to this. And not only does she have a beautiful and agile voice, her diction in both German and Italian are superb, easily understood and highly expressive at the arrival of appropriate words.


Where I take issue in this recital are the moments, as in Gretchen am Spinnrade , in which the tension of the song is lost because the inward-searching character of the Lieder is replaced with the more overt expression of a concert aria. Gretchen should sound as though her life as she knew it has ended; will she ever see Faust again? But it should sound as though she were singing to herself. In this performance I miss especially the muted, almost hushed quality, an inner burning desire to see her love again. Gruberova sings the Lied beautifully; it just doesn’t move me in the way that the song should. Heidenröslein is characterized beautifully: Every stanza has its own particular voice. But the song is missing that simplicity of a folk-song setting that should be its very hallmark.


So after all of that, what can I say? This is a wonderful contribution to the discography of Schubert’s Lieder, as it includes such variety, such exquisite artistry in the accounts from both the singer and the pianist—Alexander Schmalcz deserves a round of applause for his contributions here—and is recorded in perfect sound for its genre (there is never too much echo here, and both pianist and singer can be heard equally well). I have my reservations about certain of these songs but there are too many positives—I think especially of the Italian songs—to discount this major addition. For the more intimate folk-like songs look elsewhere. Regardless, though, this one should be in your collection.


FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

1.
Vedi, quanto adoro, D 510 "Didone abbandonata" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Suleika no 2, D 717/Op. 31 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Suleika no 1, D 720 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1821; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Scenes (2) from "Lacrimas", D 857/Op. 124: no 1, Lied der Delphine by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Rastlose Liebe, D 138/Op 51 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815/1821; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Mignon no 2, D 727 "So lasst mich scheinen" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Vienna, Austria 
7.
La pastorella al prato no 2, D 528 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Heidenröslein, D 257/Op. 3 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Gretchen am Spinnrade, D 118/Op. 2 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1814; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Gesänge (4) aus Wilhelm Meister, D 877/Op. 62: no 4, Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Erlafsee, D 586/Op. 8 no 3 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Die Forelle, D 550 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Der Schmetterling, D 633/Op. 57 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1819; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Der Fluss, D 693 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Canzonen (4), D 688 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Vienna, Austria 
16.
Am Strome, D 539/Op. 8 no 4 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Alexander Schmalcz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 if it's anything like the live evening this Spri July 18, 2012 By A. Paradis (Toronto, ON) See All My Reviews "Well, a very fine place for the sensational soprano to be at this point in her long career. If it's anything like the similar concert we heard this Spring in Milan, it will be very worth adding to both Schubert and Gruberova afficionados' collections. The relative rarity of some of the material adds to the pleasure. " Report Abuse
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