Schumann: Liederkreis, Op 39; Frauenliebe und -Leben, Op 42; Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder (Seven Early Songs)

Reviewed on Fri 05 Feb, 2016

Dorothea Röschmann’s voice is firm and admirably clear with a rich tone, her diction flawless, and her understanding of the expression is complete.

One is unlikely to find a more beautiful Lieder recital this year than this fine collection, including two of Schumann’s most beloved cycles, the 12 poems by the civil servant Eichendorff in Liederkreis and the 8 songs by the botanist Chamisso in Frauenliebe und -leben. Dorothea Röschmann’s voice is firm and admirably clear with a rich tone, her diction flawless, and her understanding of the expression is complete. Many listeners know Mitsuko Uchida as an unsurpassed performer of Mozart concertos and chamber music but her piano accompaniments in these songs are perfection itself in their sensitivity. Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs from 1905-1908 are influenced by such diverse sources as Brahms, Wolf, and Debussy but reveal him as already one of the best composers of his time even when still a student; these are mature songs in every sense, with superb harmonic invention and originality.
–Mark DeVoto