The piercing intelligence and dry registered ardour of Peter Schreier's particular qualities as a Lieder singer are ideally suited to the impulsive, dramatic, often melancholy spirit of Schumann's idiom, which itself found fullest expression in the songs that he wrote throughout his life and which this set so usefully surveys, from the total identification of the Romantic artist with his life and loves in the Liederkreis Op.24 to elliptical and ruminative settings of Lenau, the last work that Schumann composed in Dresden before his move to Düsseldorf, now less well-known than they should be but touched by circumstantial tragedy: Lenau's death was announced on the day of the first performance. The composer felt 'as if I were a tolling-bell all unawares and later wrote to his publisher, urging a speedy release of the cycle: 'I should be pleased if you would help me create a modest monument to the great but unfortunate poet'.
Less doom-laden are the earlier cycles and many individual songs recorded here, which speak of the joys of a lover in spring, each turn of Schumann's verse structures enlivened by Schreier's deep understanding both of the poetry and setting. Highly personal as they are, his readings enter into the very essence of the works performed, making them part of his own self. The result is an affinity between composer and interpreter that is as amazing as it is moving.
- Peter Schreier is without doubt one of the most famous tenors of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Active in opera, Lied and as conductor he embraced all genres and styles, from baroque, classical, romantic to contemporary repertoire. Characteristic are his intelligence, superb diction, deep understanding of the text and the great versatility of his warm but penetrating timbre.
This set contains a generous selection of Schumann’s songs: Dichterliebe, Liederkreis, Kerne Lieder and many individual lieder.
- A tribute to an artist of remarkable stature, integrity and artistry.
- “The very lightness of his voice is an advantage in this [music]. It is the kind of tone associated with the drawing room, at the guidance of a highly intelligent and sophisticated artistry…this is a very intelligent and musical recital, and one which every lover of Schumann's Lieder should take note of” (Gramophone, May 1978).
- Booklet contains biography and liner notes. Sung texts available for download soon.