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Robert Schumann – Liederkreis

Gerald Finley – baritone
Julius Drake – piano

Liederkreis Op 39;
Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers Op 36;
Liederkreis Op 24

Hyperion CDA67944 Recorded November 2011 & May 2012, 64 minutes

There is absolutely no need to introduce either the music or artists on this CD. 

Schumann’s two Liederkreis cycles, setting texts by Eichendorff (Op 39) and Heine (Op 24), are amongst the most popular in the lieder repertoire and Gerald Finley and Julius Drake are a well known and much respected duo on the concert platform.

In fact everything is set fair for this to be an outstanding and “must have" recording, and it very nearly is.  There were a couple of instances when I found the pacing of the Op 39 a little measured for my taste, and wished they had moved along a bit, but that is a very minor quibble that many would probably disagree with. 

The homespun folksiness of the much less well known Sechs gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines malers, nicely break up what might be an overwhelmingly melancholy mood and every song is performed with the care and expertise that one would expect from musicians of this quality.

There are comparatively few recordings that combine the two Liederkreis – this must certainly be amongst the very best and is highly recommended.

Serena Fenwick