Sunday, April 30, 2017

Robert Schumann; Franz Schubert - Lieder (Elly Ameling; Dalton Baldwin)


Composer: Robert Schumann; Franz Schubert
  1. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 1. Seit ich ihn gesehen
  2. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 2. Er, der Herrlichste von allen
  3. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 3. Ich kann's nicht fassen, nicht glauben
  4. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 4. Du Ring an meinem Finger
  5. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 5. Helft mir, ihr Schwestern
  6. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 6. Süßer Freund, du blickest mich verwundert an
  7. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 7. An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust
  8. Schumann - Frauenliebe- und Leben, Op. 42: 8. Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan
  9. Schubert - Lieder für Gretchen: Die junge Nonne, D. 828
  10. Schubert - Lieder für Gretchen: Der König in Thule, D. 367
  11. Schubert - Lieder für Gretchen: Gretchen am Spinnrade, D. 118
  12. Schubert - Lieder für Gretchen: Gretchens Bitte, D. 564
  13. Schubert - Lieder für Ellen und Suleika: Suleika, D. 720
  14. Schubert - Lieder für Ellen und Suleika: Suleikas zweiter Gesang, D. 717
  15. Schubert - Ellens Gesänge: Raste, Krieger!, D. 837
  16. Schubert - Ellens Gesänge: Jäger, ruhe von der Jagd, D. 838
  17. Schubert - Ellens Gesänge: Ave Maria, D. 839

Elly Ameling, soprano
Dalton Baldwin, piano
Date: 1973 (Schumann), 1975 (Schubert)
Label: Pentatone (original recorded by Philips)



For a reissue CD, this recital of Schumann’s song-cycle after Chamisso, Woman’s Life and Love (rec. 1973) and Schubert songs (rec. 1975) by Elly Ameling is a brilliant, sonic document and a testimony to impeccable musicianship. I met Elly Ameling after an evening performance in Atlanta some years ago, where we spoke, and she signed my RCA Victrola LP of Schubert songs (and The Shepherd on the Rock) with Jorg Demus. Ameling, who is a Rotterdam-born artist of first rank, studied lieder with Pierre Bernac, renowned as a Schumann interpreter. A natural coloratura soprano, Ameling finds the lieder repertory a suave and expressive medium for her warm timbre, and some see Ameling as a direct artistic descendant of Elisabeth Schumann.

A product of Schumann’s song-year, 1840, the cycle Women’s Life and Love describes an evolving course of life and the stages of love and value in a woman’s consciousness. The piano part provides a step-wise, falling figure – a kind of tragic leitmotif which marks the finality of all human relations. From burgeoning awareness of love, through courtship, marriage, childbirth, and death, the narrator moves with a lyric resignation to the vicissitudes of fortune. The piano urges wedding bells and tolls the death-knell. In restored digital sound, the interplay of voice and keyboard is entirely refreshed, the span of thirty years since the studio recording simply vanishes.

The Schubert songs are a compendium of Goethe, Willemer, and Scott settings, with some whirlwind piano writing in the Suleika songs which Dalton Baldwin carries off with aplomb. The Scott settings, taken from The Lady of the Lake, include the ubiquitous Ave Maria, which Ameling renders with restrained passion. The Young Nun, Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel (with the great, pregnant pause at sein Kuss!), have had great interpretations from Sigrid Onegin, Kirsten Flagstad, Erna Berger, and here, with Ameling. The combination of crisp, lucid diction and melting middle voice make the Schubert selections irresistible. One of three discs devoted to the Ameling-Schubert experience, this PentaTone CD makes my short list of vocal treasures for 2005.

-- Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition

More reviews:


Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, and died in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.


Franz Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer who was extremely prolific during his short lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical era and early Romantic era and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century. His music is characterized by pleasing tunes while still has "a great wealth of technical finesse".


Elly Ameling (born 8 February 1933 in Rotterdam) is a Dutch soprano. She made her career mainly as a concert and lieder singer with some excursions into opera (Mozart, Haydn) and became world-renowned for her recitals of French and German songs and for her superlative interpretive gifts. She is equally at home in chamber music, orchestral music, operas, and oratorios. Contemporary works, particularly by her countrymen Bertus van Lier and Robert Heppener, are also part of her large repertoire. Ameling has recorded more than 150 albums and won many prizes.


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