An adorable person who, like her singing, was all sunshine.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 10/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A distinguished English music review magazine recently published the results of an opinion poll. Two dozen music critics were asked, "Who do you think ought to be remembered as the 20 greatest singers of the twentieth century". Of the sopranos the highest scorers were, in order, Kirsten Flagstad, Maria Callas, Lotte Lehmann and Elisabeth Schumann. Well, this CD provides a worthy tribute to one of those singers and ought to help perpetuate her art well into the next century. It comprises almost all her recordings of Schumann ( no relation) and Brahms lieder. Sampling the first three or four Schumann songs on this CD should give a good indication of the singers's art. The voice is in pristine health, the vocalising is confident and perfectly controlled, and the tone is pure silver. The songs, moreover, are not just sung, they are LIVED. This singer's special quality was much admired by famous accompanist Gerald Moore, a musician who worked with hundreds of singers. "My special pet was Elisabeth Schumann. An adorable person who, like her singing, was all sunshine." Fortunately, on the CD market, almost all her recordings are available, and this CD offers some of the best - including a few rare items that have had only a very limited circulation. Of her Brahms recordings however, one is missing. It is the song "Es traumte mir" which she recorded with Gerald Moore in 1946. Nevertheless there is well over an hour of pure delight here, facilitated by clear and clean transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn, and accompanied by many photographs, together with a balanced and scholarly appreciation by the singer's grand-daughter Joy Puritz."