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Songs: Mendelssohn / Schoeck / Schumann / Wolf

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2000
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Product Details

  • Performer: Aribert Reimann
  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn, Othmar Schoeck, Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf
  • Audio CD (May 15, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Orfeo
  • ASIN: B00004TQXT
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By John Austin VINE VOICE on January 18, 2001
Highly respected and esteemed by colleagues, critics and her public during a career of thirty years, Elisabeth Grümmer (1911-1986) was not adequately represented in the recording medium during her lifetime. I suspect that there may have been problems recording the voice. Consonants could have the force of an uppercut, and there was a gleam on the vowel sounds that could dazzle at fifty paces.
The availability situation has been considerably improved in recent years by the release of hitherto unpublished material, including several CDs of lieder recitals deriving from German radio broadcasts. This Orfeo CD, released in 2000, is one of them. It presents a carefully balanced program in which you will find familiar and the unfamiliar items: songs by Mendelssohn and Schumann from the 1840s and songs by Schoeck from the 1940s.
Grümmer shows herself to be a wonderfully sympathetic lieder singer. The voice is suitably restrained. In the Schumann song cycle, the changing stages of a tender female psyche are sensitively revealed, without a hint of sentimentality or operatic gesturing. Grümmer had what singers call "the long breath", enabling her to sing the lines of the sixth song of the Schumann cycle with marvellous, unbroken, ecstatic delivery.
Packaging, programming, sound quality, and content make this a very superior product.
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I admire Grummer, if not with the extravagance of the lead review. born in 1911, she performed these songs between 1963 and 1968, so the gleaming purity of her younger voice isn't present. Still, it sounds remarkably fresh, and the singer's artistry is at its most mature. Grummer was gifted with an ample, inviting, feminine voice that is immediately appealing. Her technique and pronunciation are impeccable. When pushed, the tones can get a bit shrill in this recital, but that's a quibble. Everything is pure pleasure, and it's highly unusual to get such a large group of liedder by Schoek, along with more familiar material. Riemann is an accomplished accompanist, if a bit stiff.

Here's the complete program:

Mendelssohn:
Nachtlied, Op. 71 No. 6
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, Op. 34 No. 2
Scheidend, Op. 9 No. 6
Frühlingslied 'Der Frühling naht mit Brausen', Op. 71 No. 2
Neue Liebe, Op. 19a No. 4

Schoeck:
Erinnerung, Op. 10 No. 1
Die Einsame, Op. 10 No. 2
Auf meines Kindes Tod, Op. 20 No. 8
Nachruf, Op. 20 No. 14
Ergebung, Op. 30 No. 6
Motto, Op. 51 No. 2
Auf der Teck, Op. 62 No. 6
Im Park, Op. 62 No. 8
Nachts, Op. 62 No. 19

Schumann:
Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42

Wolf, H:
Sie blasen zum Abmarsch (No. 28 from Spanisches Liederbuch: Weltliche Lieder)
Mögen alle bösen Zungen (No. 13 from Spanisches Liederbuch: Weltliche Lieder)
Bedeckt mich mit Blumen (No. 26 from Spanisches Liederbuch: Weltliche Lieder)
In dem Schatten meiner Locken (No. 2 from Spanisches Liederbuch: Weltliche Lieder)

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