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Elisabeth Grummer (soprano) with Aribert Reimann (piano).
Lieder by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Schoek & Wolf
Orfeo C 506 001 B 67'46"
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These performances were recorded 1963-68 in Mono by this widely admired lyric soprano, with the composer-pianist Aribert Reimann, then around 30. Elisabeth Grummer (1911-86) had a brilliant international operatic career, but is also well remembered for her concert hall performances.

Active until 1972, this CD finds her in fine voice, with an ease and purity of tone production that leaves you wondering if any editing had been necessary. Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben is given with an engaging simplicity and directness, which dismisses thoughts about its sentimentality and political incorrectness. There are continual, delectable subtleties of phrasing, rhythm and word painting from Grummer and her alert, sensitive pianist.

There are four of Wolf's Spanish Songbook, and some rarely heard songs included, with five of Mendelssohn's and nine of the prolific Swiss opera and lieder composer, Othmar Schoek, whom she had championed.

The recording and remastering are entirely satisfactory, but there are no words or translations supplied, and only a few sentences about Schoek. For this reason I cannot award maximum star rating. Those for Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben and from the Wolf Spanischen Liederbuch can be found in the indispensable The Fischer-Dieskau Book of Lieder (Gollancz) and a number of others can be located, with a fair amount of effort, in Emily Ezust's treasure-trove at


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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