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CD Review

Robert Schumann

Hyperion CDJ33109

The Complete Songs - Volume 9

  • Lieder Album für die Jugend, Op. 79
  • Album für die Jugend for Piano, Op. 68
Felicity Lott, soprano
Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano
Graham Johnson, piano
Hyperion CDJ33109 79m DDD
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This Robert Schumann series from Hyperion dedicated to his complete song edition has now reached Volume 9. This is already a notable achievement, but when the journey is complete, it will surely be another accolade for 'Britain's Brightest Record Label'. This volume is dedicated to music Schumann composed for children and although it is delightful and easygoing it still leaves you with some food for thought.

The 29 songs and duets that comprise the 'Album for the Young', Op. 79 was composed in 1849 and leads us on a voyage of discovery of the mind and imagination of the musical child. These works show that in spite of Schumann's complex and depressive character, he still possessed a childlike affinity which makes this music so innocently fresh.

The beauty of this music is enhanced considerably through a masterstroke by the composer. Schumann interspersed this cycle with 15 items from the Op. 68 solo piano collection, 'Piano Album for the Young'. The complementary effect of all this is a CD that is profusely filled with wonderful music as well as great satisfaction.

As usual, the piano accompaniment is provided by the brains behind the project, the indefatigable Graham Johnson while Felicity Lott and Ann Murray make their debut in this undertaking. I cannot emphasise too strongly the vocal results of this disc from two accomplished divas of this order. As usual, notes, texts and recorded sound are of the highest standards throughout. Warmly recommended to all lovers of song and obviously those who have been collecting the series.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet