Träumend wandle ich bei Tag - Lieder nach Heinrich Heine
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 - 1856)
Dichterliebe Op. 48 (1840)
1. Im wunderschönen Monat Mai [1:39]
2. Aus meinen Tränen spriessen [1:04]
3. Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube [0:35]
4. Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’ [1:50]
5. Ich will meine Seele tauchen [0:57]
6. Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome [2:05]
7. Ich grolle nicht [1:34]
8. Und wüssten’s die Blumen [1:19]
9. Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen [1:36]
10. Hör’ ich das Liedchen klingen [2:10]
11. Ein Jüngling liebt’ ein Mädchen [1:01]
12. Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen [2:38]
13. Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet [2:36]
14. Allnächtlich im Träume [1:30]
15. Aus alten Märchen winkt es [2:46]
16. Die alten, bösen Lieder [4:25]
Clara SCHUMANN (1819 - 1896)
17. Sie liebten sich beide [2:17]
18. Ich stand in dunklen Träumen [2:13]
19. Lorelei [2:17]
Robert SCHUMANN
Liederkreis Op. 24 (1840)
20. Morgens steh ich auf und frage [1:09]
21. Es treibt mich hin, es treibt mich her! [1:18]
22. Ich wandelte unter den Bäumen [3:12]
23. Lieb Liebchen, leg’s Händchen aufs Herze mein [0:54]
24. Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden [3:24]
25. Warte, warte, wilder Schiffmann [1:57]
26. Berg’ und Burgen schau’n herunter [3:12]
27. Anfangs wollt’ ich fast verzagen [0:43]
28. Mit Myrten und Rosen, lieblich und hold [3:53]
Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Gerold Huber (piano)
rec. 4-7 May 2010, Festeburgkirche, Frankfurt am Main
Sung texts enclosed but no translations
OEHMS CLASSICS OC 819 [56:47]
 
It is not unusual that professional singers start out as choirboys, and for Maximilian Schmitt it was the world renowned Regensburger Domspatzen. After studies in Berlin he became a member of the Young Ensemble at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and during that time he also made his debut at the Salzburg Landestheater as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. At present he is engaged at the Nationaltheater Mannheim to sing further Mozart roles as well as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Lenski in Eugene Onegin. He is also a much sought after concert singer and gives solo recitals with Gerold Huber. His recordings include Haydn’s The Creation under René Jacobs and Bach’s St Matthew Passion under Riccardo Chailly. The Sunday Times, reviewing The Creation, thought he was one of the finest Uriels since Fritz Wunderlich.
 
To open his debut recital disc with Dichterliebe may be risky, since collectors and critics will inevitably make comparisons with all the greats- for instance Fritz Wunderlich and Peter Schreier and dozens of other famous tenors. Leaving comparisons aside one can note that Schmitt is a lyrical tenor, like Wunderlich and Schreier. His is a basically beautiful and flexible voice but in the long run tends to be rather monotonous. He is very good at grading nuances from pianissimo up to forte but the colour of the voice is inflexible. I don’t know whether the Dichterliebe songs were recorded in the order they are presented on the disc but it seems that the first few songs are rather pallid and uninspired, while there is more life in the second half of the cycle. He is best in the more dramatic songs and maybe Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome and Ich grolle nicht (trs. 6 and 7) was a turning-point. Later on Hör’ ich das Liedchen klingen (tr. 10) and Allnächtlich im Traume (tr. 14) are deeply felt, and he rounds off the cycle with a full-throated Die alten, bösen Lieder. Here, though, as in other songs where he uses his full lung-power, he tends to shout, which mars the reading as a whole.
 
Of the three songs by Clara Schumann the dramatic Lorelei makes the greatest impression.
 
Liederkreis Op. 24 is less often heard than Op. 39 and that’s probably the reason why the individual songs are not so well known. Mit Myrten und Rosen is, I believe, performed out of context and it is no doubt one of Schumann’s very finest songs. Maximilian Schmitt is however inspired throughout the cycle, in Warte, warte, wilder Schiffmann (tr. 25) maybe excessively so. Gone is the pallid quality of the opening songs of Dichterliebe, and the enthusiasm is tangible without actually seeing the singer’s facial expressions. That’s promising. I won’t pretend that this disc will replace Schreier or Fischer-Dieskau or Roman Trekel. Both Schreier (Orfeo) (review) and Trekel (also Oehms) (review) couple Dichterliebe and Liederkreis Op. 24, Schreier being one step ahead by also including Liederkreis Op 39.
 
Without being a top contender Maximilian Schmitt makes quite a good stab at the songs and it is to be hoped he will come back with something even better.
 
Göran Forsling

Masterwork Index: Dichterliebe
 
Quite a good stab but it is to be hoped he will come back with something even better.