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.
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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.'
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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.'
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Pizzicato
5 Stars
'...this album has definitely to be counted among the best Schumann Lied recordings currently available.'
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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...''
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Sinfini Music
'[Gilchrist] is an intelligent and observant interpreter of both words and notes...Anna Tilbrook’s pianism is more consistently rewarding, not only in her varied tone but in her fluent and consistently spirited musicianship.'
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Gramophone
'These are lyrical performances, nicely fluent in pace...Gilchrist's sensitive Schumann has its own distinctive flavour...'
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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.'
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James Gilchrist - Schumann: Song Cycles - The Washington Post


27 November 2015
The Washington Post
Patrick Rucker

Preparation for a career in classical music is long and rigorous, resembling in some ways a medieval apprenticeship. The British tenor James Gilchrist upped the ante by preparing for two rigorous careers at the same time: While working as a freelance singer, he completed his medical studies. Singing had always been a major component of his life, however, as a boy soprano at Oxford and, later, in King's Choir at Cambridge; and since he moved into singing full time in 1996, he hasn't looked back.

His latest recording, with the pianist Anna Tilbrook, presents three song cycles by Robert Schumann: "Dichterliebe" and the two "Liederkreis" cycles. Schumann had a keen eye for quality poems and his musical settings are particularly apt, so it's no surprise that Gilchrist, for whom the text is always front and center, should be such a successful Schumann interpreter. It is hard to imagine a seasoned actor declaiming these poems by Heine and Eichendorfer with greater clarity or feeling than Gilchrist sings them.

Gilchrist's voice is light, agile and always expressive. Tilbrook's sensitive, empathetic support enhances the disarming intimacy of their collaboration. "Dichterliebe," or "Poet's Love," contains some of Heine's best-known poems and Schumann's most beloved songs. Gilchrist and Tilbrook imbue the first song, "In the Lovely Month of May," with a palpable sadness, wistfully suggesting love's evanescence. Later, in the famous song "Ich grolle nicht" ("I bear no grudge, even though my heart may break"), Gilchrist uses his rich middle register to convey the irony of Heine's text, an element of the song often overlooked by other singers.

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.

 


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Related Links

Anna TilbrookAnna Tilbrook
James GilchristJames Gilchrist
Schumann: Song CyclesSchumann: Song Cycles