ROBERT SCHUMANN: Liederkreis, Op. 39; Frauenliebe und –leben,Op. 42; Die Lowenbraut, Op. 31:1; Der Nussbaum, op. 25:3; Er ist’s, Op. 79:23; Widmung, Op. 25:1 – Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto/ Daniel Blumenthal, piano – Naïve

by | Jun 21, 2009 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

ROBERT SCHUMANN: Liederkreis, Op. 39; Frauenliebe und –leben,Op. 42; Die Lowenbraut, Op. 31:1; Der Nussbaum, op. 25:3; Er ist’s, Op. 79:23; Widmung, Op. 25:1 – Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto/ Daniel Blumenthal, piano – Naïve 5159, 64:00 **** [Distr. by Naxos]:

The main attractions on this disc are of course A Woman’s love and life, along with Schumann’s thorny and sometimes hyper-romantic Circle of Songs. The latter still rests in my mind most comfortably in Kate Royal’s Hyperion Schumann Edition recording. She is able to capture the moody mantra that serves as the connecting fiber among these disparate songs. But I must admit that I was also captivated by Ms. Lemieux’s ability to vent these readings with an almost breathless alacrity. She displays an unqualified nuance in the control of her instrument and sensitivity to the textual utterances that puts the Liederkreis across as if a mother telling her child bed time stories

Frauenliebe und –leben  is no less successful. Here Lemieux is able to convey the almost obsessive adulation and utter submission of the woman in Adelbert von Chamisso’s poem about the desire for her husband.  A rapturous state of ecstasy is needed to properly portray this almost operatic scène, and Blumenthal’s accompaniments provide the needed orchestral type support to push this music beyond the merely competent to the thoroughly accomplished.This is fine disc that could well serve as only copies for the two principal works, and the smattering of extras only add to its desirability. Bravo!

— Steven Ritter    

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