Notes and Editorial Reviews
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. As usual, Harmonia Mundi's production values are top-of-the line, with good sonics and full texts and translations. [2/15/2003]
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Dichterliebe, Op. 48 by Robert Schumann
Jan Schultsz (Piano),
Werner Güra (Tenor)
Written: 1840; Germany
Liederkreis, Op. 39 by Robert Schumann
Werner Güra (Tenor),
Jan Schultsz (Piano)
Written: 1840; Germany
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