Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
Recommended Further Listening: For further examples from Schumann's miraculous 'year of song' of 1840, turn to his two Liederkreis cycles and Dichterliebe, performed by tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Anna Tilbrook.
more >>
MusicWeb International
'James Gilchrist is a very fine exponent of these songs and Anna Tilbrook offers distinguished playing. I enjoyed their performances very much and, more than that, there were many passages that I found moving.'
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'Tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Anna Tilbrook allow each cycle to unfold naturally, minutely adjusting the spaces between certain songs to allow the ear to absorb what it has just heard...If Gilchrist and Tilbrook have waited a long time to record these works, their perspective on Dichterliebe, poignant, reflective and weather-worn, has only deepened.'
more >>
The Washington Post
'Gilchrist [is] such a successful Schumann interpreter...Few of us would have the stamina to relive the ups and downs of young love, but hearing its evocation in these beautiful songs superbly performed is a tantalizing reminder.'
more >>
5 Stars
'...this album has definitely to be counted among the best Schumann Lied recordings currently available.'
more >>
The New Listener
,,it James Gilchrist hat Linn Records einen erstklassigen Tenor gefunden...Seine Stimme ist unverkennbar markant mit einem recht weiblichen Timbre und einer gewissen Zartheit...''
more >>
'These are lyrical performances, nicely fluent in pace...Gilchrist's sensitive Schumann has its own distinctive flavour...'
more >>
McAlister Matheson Music
'Every once in a while comes a disc so perfectly formed that we marvel at its existence. Here, we are graced with an exceptional interpretation of Schumann's song cycles by pianist Anna Tilbrook and tenor James Gilchrist.'
more >>

James Gilchrist - Schumann: Song Cycles - Sinfini Music

23 September 2015
Sinfini Music
George Hall

'Three of Schumann’s best known song-cycles are on this disc. Two of them – the Liederkreis (the word means literally ‘song-circle’), Op.24, and Dichterliebe (‘Poet’s Love’) – are set to words by the composer’s contemporary, the German poet Heinrich Heine, whose texts proved ideal for musical purposes and were widely set in the Romantic period. The remaining cycle, another Liederkreis, Op.39, employs poems by the slightly earlier Joseph Eichendorff.

Astonishingly, all three of these cycles were composed in 1840, known in Schumann’s biography as ‘the year of song’. It was also the year when he was finally able to marry his beloved Clara Wieck.

All three cycles are much-recorded masterpieces, but these new versions are appealing and often distinctive, though one might ideally prefer a slightly richer and more substantial voice in this repertoire than James Gilchrist’s grainy tenor. He is nevertheless an intelligent and observant interpreter of both words and notes, even if one or two individual songs feel on the slow side. Anna Tilbrook’s pianism is more consistently rewarding, not only in her varied tone but in her fluent and consistently spirited musicianship.'

Bookmark and Share

Related Links

James GilchristJames Gilchrist
Schumann: Song CyclesSchumann: Song Cycles