Cornelius: Complete Lieder, Volume 1 – Sechs Lieder, Op 1; Trauer und Trost, Op 3; Brautlieder; An Bertha, Op 15; Rheinische Lieder; Drei Lieder, Op 4

Reviewed on Mon 02 Sep, 2013

Peter Cornelius (1824-1874) was a poet-musician of deeply personal expression who often set his own lyrics, composing in the Liszt or Wagner mould. Several historical singers kept Cornelius's music in their repertoires alongside the established greats of the German lieder genre, where it rightly belongs, but Cornelius is overdue for rediscovery. The six cycles recorded here display Cornelius's development and confidence as a composer who could capture feelings of melancholy, tenderness, joy and occasional wit within individual brief songs. All three singers are experienced Lieder interpreters: Christina Landshamer is a clear, brilliant light soprano, Markus Schäfer a sensitive and nuanced tenor with clean tone, and Mathias Hausmann a firm and pleasing baritone. The accompaniments contribute much to the appeal of this repertoire and Matthias Veit makes their imaginative force shine with brilliant ease. The recorded sound is suitably atmospheric. Supporting notes are informative and song texts with translations are downloadable. Definitely worth investigating; future volumes are keenly awaited.
–Evan Dickerson