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Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856)
Liederkreis, Op. 39 (Eichendorff):
1. In der Fremde [1:52]
2. Intermezzo [1:47]
3. Waldesgespräch [2:14]
4. Die Stille [1:40]
5. Mondnacht [3:14]
6. Schöne Fremde [1:09]
7. Auf einer Burg [2:40]
8. In der Fremde [1:27]
9. Wehmut [2:09]
10. Zwielicht [2:36]
11. Im Walde [1:35]
12. Frühlingsnacht [1:16]
Frauenliebe und –Leben, Op. 42 (Chamisso):
13. Seit ich ihn gesehen [2:16]
14. Er der Herrlichste von allen [2:57]
15. Ich kann’s nicht fassen, nicht glauben [1:41]
16. Du Ring an meinem Finger [2:34]
17. Helft mir, ihr Schwestern [1:34]
18. Süsser Freund, du blickest [4:01]
19. An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust [1:18]
20. Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan [3:35]
Songs on Poems by Lord Byron:
21. An den Mond, Op. 95, No. 2 [2:23]
22. Mein Herz ist schwer, Op. 25, No. 15 [3:55]
23. Die Tochter Jephtas, Op. 95, No. 1 [1:50]
Four Rückert Songs:
24. Aus den östlichen Rosen, Op. 25, No. 25 [1:34]
25. Schneeglöckchen, Op. 79, No. 27 [1:17]
26. Der Himmel hat eine Träne geweint, Op. 37, No. 1 [1:37]
27. Widmung, Op. 25, No. 1 [1:55]
Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (soprano); Jonathan Zak (piano)
rec. Jerusalem Music Center, May 2007
Texts and English translations enclosed.
ROMÉO RECORDS 7260 [58:07]


Experience Classicsonline

Israeli soprano Sharon Rostorf-Zamir has been singing important opera roles and has appeared in recital. She has also been soloist with orchestras in Europe, Japan and the US, besides starring regularly at the Israel Opera House. Hers is a warm, expressive voice, well controlled with a sparse vibrato and a natural vibrancy. Her phrasing is immensely musical and she often sings in long unbroken legato arcs.

I was captivated from the very beginning by her lively communication and Liederkreis is certainly one of the best I have ever heard by a female singer. Waldesgespräch is eagerly characterized with a sense of nervous impatience and Mondnacht, another of Schumann’s finest songs, is so sensitive. Schöne Fremde has the right intensity and Wehmut is simple but affecting. Frühlingsnacht reflects all the expectancy and wonder in springtime.

Likewise Frauenliebe und –Leben is done with deep understanding and the emotions serious but not sentimentalized. Er, der Herrlichste von allen is so intense and Du Ring an meinem Finger mirrors the sudden insight that she won’t be ‘forlorn in boundless desolation’ and the ring has ‘unlocked [her] eyes to life’s deep, boundless worth’. This is great Lieder singing of a kind one can never take for granted – not even from world stars. The concluding song, dark, filled with pain, really goes to the listener’s heart and the postlude, pensively played, brings to the end a very fine reading of the cycle. I won’t dispose of my old Irmgard Seefried record, nor of course the penetrating Brigitte Fassbaender, but when I want to hear these songs again it is quite possible that I will choose Ms Rostorf-Zamir just as often.

The fillers, if that is what they are, are in the same league: sensitive and well considered readings, where I was deeply impressed by the highly dramatic of the Byron setting Die Tochter Jephtas and the four Rückert songs are all of them little gems – as compositions as well as readings.

Jonathan Zak should be a well known name to many music lovers, being one of the founders of the renowned Yuval Trio, with whom he toured worldwide for more than 25 years and recorded extensively. He is a good and sensitive listener and the rapport between the two artists is notable.

I am less enthusiastic about the recording, which seems a bit woolly, but not to such degree that it will spoil anyone’s pleasure of hearing this highly recommendable disc. The layout of texts and translations could have been more docile, with corresponding lines side by side. As it is there is considerable misfit towards the end of the programme.

But this is also marginal criticism and the lasting impression is of highly accomplished Lieder singing that should appeal to most lovers of German songs.

Göran Forsling



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