Ann Murray - Brahms & Schumann: Lieder - American Record Guide

When I see these names on an album cover, I expect excellence; and indeed, here it is. Murray sounds as good as ever, and Martineau is sublime. The "supporting cast" is also good. The only odd thing about this program is that the title lists Brahms first, but the contents favor Schumann; in fact, there are only seven Brahms songs here, taking only about 15 minutes. As a huge Brahms fan, though perhaps more of the instrumental music than the songs, I was a little disappointed. Still, the Schumann songs and duets are beautiful and impeccably performed.

It's nice to hear Schumann's ‘Wilhelm Meister' songs performed as a group. The effect is decidedly dramatic, and I hope this will inspire more performances of the songs this way. Duets and two other songs fill out the extended Schumann portion of the program. Of particular interest to me was the intimate and exquisitely performed duet ‘So Wahr die Sonne Scheinet'.

The Brahms songs, all sung by Murray, are simply spectacular. They are mainly "greatest hits": ‘Dein Blaues Auge',‘Meine Liebe Ist Grün' (here by the alternate title, ‘Junge Liebe I'), and ‘Ständchen' (Kugler setting), to name a few.

A fabulous program and worthy addition to your lieder collection. Excellent notes by Susan Youens. 

American Record Guide
01 July 2015