Notes and Editorial Reviews
Here, in Volume 9 (of a projected 12) we have English soprano Felicity Lott and Irish soprano Ann Murray, both of whom are as engaging and appealing as they could be from beginning to end of this disc, whether singing separately or together...the complete Liederalbum für die Jugend “is not long enough for a complete concert, neither is it short enough to be performed before the interval as half a concert . . . [thus making] an awkward three-quarters of an evening’s entertainment (or CD).” Johnson’s solution: he’s created what he calls a “new performing version” of the Liederalbum into which he’s meaningfully interspersed 13 thematically and/or musically related piano pieces from Schumann’s Op. 68 Klavieralbum für die Jugend
(composed in 1848, the year before the Liederalbum). In those selections, he’s as engaging a solo-player as he is a collaborator with his singers in the songs. As Prologue to all this, Johnson has programmed “Liedchen von Marie und Papa,” a duet Schumann composed as an 1852 birthday gift for Clara to words by their daughter Marie, followed by a selection from the Klavieralbum. As Epilogue we get, from the Klavieralbum, “Lied Italienischer Marinari” (thematically connected to “Mignon,” which closes the Liederalbum) and the song Soldatenlied, from later than 1844, which, Johnson writes, “played an important part in turning Schumann’s thoughts towards composing the Liederalbum für die Jugend in the first place.”...
As you can probably gather from what I’ve written thus far, there’s so much to enjoy and think about on this disc that it’s hard to know just what to single out for further discussion or praise. Since every bit of the music is presented as winningly as possible, all in warm, natural sound that perfectly complements the Gestalt of the material, let me therefore just speed you toward your nearest vendor by saying that this disc could not be more highly recommended.
-- Marc Mandel, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
Lieder Album für die Jugend, Op. 79 by Robert Schumann
Ann Murray (Mezzo Soprano),
Graham Johnson (Piano),
Felicity Lott (Soprano)
Written: 1849; Germany
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