Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Robert Schumann, Hartmut Schmidt, Nicolai Gedda|
Schumann: Das Paradies und Die Peri / Romanzen und Balladen
Gorgeous: Newer Singers Should Consider Singing This
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mezzo soprano Birgitt Fassbaender, tenor Nicolai Gedda and soprano Edda Moser shine in the solo arias and the chorus is glorious in this often neglected and forgotten, obscure cycle of songs by Robert Schumann. Das Paradies Und Die Peri (The Paradise and the Fairy ?) is sung in German and remains essentially German music. It's beautiful to hear and would influence such later 19th century composers as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss (The Four Last Songs can be traced to this work). I feel the only reasons you should go for this recording is the outstanding musicianship by conductor, orchestra and singers. I am a big fan of Edda Moser, who had a dramatic and huge voice but was also very controlled and focused in its lyrical splendor - she was thus a fine Mozart singer. Birgitte Fassbaender was endowed with a rich, warm mezzo voice which sounds creamy and glorious on this recording. Tenor Nicolai Gedda possessed elegance in his voice, a refined manner and truly remarkable artistry. He is without a doubt the very definition of a tenor di grazie- a purely graceful tenor, without all the bloodchilling highs or dramatic strength of a Pavoratti or Mario Del Monaco or John Vickers. Gedda was comfortable singing Lieder, like the baritone Dietrich Fischer Dieskau, who sings on this recording as well with his usual flair. A German jewel. Loved this recording. I would love to hear current singers (who specialize or who have been praised for their German repertoire or fine Lieder singers) sing this work today. Das Paradies is a terrific work and I feel it ought to be at least included in recitals and concert. If I were somehow influential in the classical music scene, I would contract such singers as soprano Renee Fleming (who is not just an opera star but also a fine singer of Mozart and Strauss and Schubert Lieder, more importantly, because it is closer to this style in Das Paradies) Bryn Terfel, who I feel is the new Dieskau, with a rich, masculine and yet graceful voice that can definately have a place in such "Lieder" song cycles as this one, if not Terfel then Quasthoff. A fine mezzo for this would be Jennifer Larmore (if she is still singing) or Cecilia Bartoli who champions rare works like this by the way. I could see Yvonne Minton singing this too, though I believe she is retired or not singing anymore. Though Edda Moser has a big voice for this kind of stuff, for me it works. But if a light voice would be preferred in a newer version, I think this is a perfect vehicle for Natalie Dessay. So, in closing, I say that this is a fine work of classical music and operatic "lieder" type of work, even at time bordering on secular oratorio. Fans of Schumann, Moser, Fassbaender, Gedda an Dieskau would be pleased."
A Moving Performance
W. P. Hardin | Duesseldorf, Germany | 01/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I write this review as a novice, not because I know and can itemize that it is an exceptional performance, but because I FEEL IT. The melodies, with their counterpoint of solo voices, choir and orchestra as performed by the three soloists, and the Dusseldorf singers and musicians alternately calm and lift the soul, with or without knowledge of German. The directors, Messers Czyz and Schmidt, are to be commended, as are all performers."