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Elly Ameling ~ Schubert · Schumann: Songs / Lieder

4.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 17, 1990
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Product Details

  • Composer: Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann
  • Audio CD (April 17, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA / Sony / BMG / Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001TWU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have owned these recordings on vinyl and every time I listen to them they seem to get better. It is truly a marvel to hear such a beautiful voice singing these works along side the solid musicianship of a master like Jorg Demus (who performs on a Conrad Graf Hammerflugel).

The original title of the Schubert release was Schubertiade, indicating that the spirit of the album was to resurrect what it might have been like to be at one of Schubert's many gatherings, where musicians got together to play and listen to his music. The result is that we are transported to another time and place by these perfomances (all of which are on authentic instruments, thus heightening this feeling). The playing by Demus is truly of the highest musical order. It is easy to understand why Paul Badura-Skoda (himself, a great Schubert and Mozart interpreter) has expressed so much admiration for Jorg Demus.

The Schumann Lieder are no less stunning--and reveal to us a side of the composer which is often left unheard. In some of the earlier songs, we can hear a connection to the music of his upbringing, in a way which is more obvious than in some of the composer's other works. Throughout all of the individual Lieder the voice and phrasing of Elly Ameling is simply stunning and can only be described as Heavenly.
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Format: Audio CD
It is tempting to dismiss Ameling as a "pretty voice" and reach for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf instead, as a previous reviewer suggests. Ameling's interpretations place a premium on simplicity and directness - two traits that are often undervalued. To my ears, however, Ameling's self-effacing approach is ideally suited to lieder performance. Schwarzkopf's recording with Edwin Fischer on EMI, while admirable in its own way, is too fussy for my tastes. Take, for example, the rendition of "Im Fruehling" by each singer: where others find Schwarzkopf to be intense and dramatic, I find her to be mannered and melodramatic. Ameling's version strikes closer to the heart and shows greater insight and intellect, in my view. Note: on this CD, Ameling's ravishing voice is at its peak.
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Format: Audio CD
Elly Ameling's breathtaking performance of The Shepherd on the Rock just goes right through me. This may be my 'island' recording. You know, if you are banished to an island with just one recording forever, which one would it be? Maybe this one.
Ameling has the purest soprano voice I have ever heard.
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Format: Audio CD
One of Schubert's last and greatest songs (and that's saying a lot for arguably the greatest songwriter of any era) was The Shepherd on the Rock (Der Hirt auf dem Felsen). This song, in which the soprano is joined by piano and clarinet, is very long and extremely challenging, because there are three distinct moods to be communicated by the singer, to say nothing of the sheer vocal gymnastics. I have long regarded the song as a bitterly unfair test for merely excellent sopranos, and I have great sympathy for any soprano courageous enough to attempt it in a live recital. It's nearly impossible to bring off. I have purchased around 10 recordings of the song, all by famous sopranos, and all except one -- Elly Ameling's triumph on this CD -- have notable shortcomings in one or another of the three phases of the song. When I listen in awe to Ameling's glorious version, I sometimes imagine that Schubert, who died at far too young an age, has been granted a "second visit" to earth, and that he appears in the modern age, just there, on the sidewalk in front of my house. I run out and accost him on the street. "Mr. Schubert, there is something you must come to hear IMMEDIATELY. A soprano named Elly Ameling finally mastered every note and nuance of that (almost) impossible song!"

If that's not enough, many of Ameling's performances of the other included songs are as fine as any you are ever likely to hear. To my ear, this is the best soprano Lieder recital among the hundreds that I've purchased on vinyl or CD. Finally, it would be shameful not to highlight the magical accompaniment of pianist Jorg Demus.
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Format: Audio CD
For those fortunate enough to have heard one of Elly Ameling's recitals in which she committed the entire even - including encores - to Schubert's lieder this CD will conjure some wonderful memories. Now 78 years old, Ameling is still presenting master classes and for the enrichment of the musical community it would be well worth the investment to create DVDs of those experiences. The Dutch soprano began her career in 1953 Rotterdam and performed for more than forty years in virtually every major cultural centre in the world. She 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. For her services to music, Dr. Ameling has been awarded four honorary degrees and has been knighted, in 1971, by Her Majesty the Queen of The Netherlands for her services to music (the Orde van Oranje Nassau) and in 2008 she received the highest civil decoration in the Netherlands, the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

Her voice is not huge but her interpretive gifts are astonishing. She brings to lieder that degree of intimacy that assures the audience that not only s she an extraordinary technician but also a poet - and she presents her recitals and orchestral performances with a sense of humble and honest stance that endears her to her audiences. On this recording she is represented by a fine sampling of Schubert lieder and her collaborator is the fine pianist Jörg Demus. There communication is of the highest order, resulting in perfectly phased and emotionally involved performances. For the beloved 'Der Hirt auf dem Felsen' Ameling and Demus are joined by clarinetist Hans Deinzer and a finer recording of this extended song would be difficult to find.

Elly Ameling gave the world a gift and much of that enormous gift is sampled on this excellent recording. Grady Harp, August 11
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