One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 - 1856)
Dichterliebe (1840)
Alban BERG (1885 - 1935)
Sieben frühe Lieder (1905-1908)
(First recording with tenor voice)
see end review for track listing
Arnold Bezuyen (tenor), Jura Margulis (piano)
rec. 18-21 December 2011, Kammermusiksaal, Steingraeber-Haus, Bayreuth
Sung texts but no translations enclosed

There is no lack of recordings of Dichterliebe, nor is it nowadays any problem to find Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder in the catalogues. This disc however doesn’t offer the umpteenth version of the standard Schumann cycle, nor is there a comparable recording of the Berg songs.
Dichterliebe includes the twenty songs that Schumann originally wrote and offered to the publisher Peters. They cut four of them, presumably because they thought the cycle would be too long. As for the Berg songs they are commonly sung by a woman, but here we have them sung by a tenor. Arguably some of the poems could very well be related to a man.
Having been used to the common sixteen songs in Dichterliebe for almost fifty years, the additions seem like rather odd birds, in particular Es leuchtet meine Liebe (tr. 15). In its own right it is a good song and the piano part is Schumann at his most flamboyant, but it stands out. Mein Wagen rollet langsam (tr. 16) is closer to the general mood in the cycle.
Arnold Bezuyen’s approach to the songs is rather heavy, which afflicts songs like Im wunderschönen Monat Mai and Aus meinen Tränen sprießen, where one expects a lighter touch. Both songs are sung with passion and excellent enunciation. Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’ is beautifully nuanced but it is still on the ponderous side. Songs like Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome and Ich grolle nicht are more Bezuyen’s cup of tea, and here his excellent pianist grabs the opportunity to limn in some colourful backgrounds.
The lighter Und wüssten’s die Blumen goes well though I miss the nervous intensity of, say, Fischer-Dieskau. Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen dances along in rustic fashion rather than in elegance - clogs instead of ballet shoes. An inward Hör’ ich das Liedchen klingen makes amends for some lack of sensitivity in the earlier songs - and the piano postlude is fine. Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen is rustic and full-voiced but I can’t really take him to task for that - this is basically rather a simple tale. In Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen I must again praise the postlude.
The concluding songs are all fine. Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet and Allnächtlich im Traume are sensitive and Bezuyen catches the mood superbly. Aus aten Märchen and Die alten, bösen Lieder are both heavy-weighters and fare well under Bezuyen’s muscular treatment.
Coupling Schumann with Alban Berg may be seen as a bold decision but in reality it works. The Berg songs were written when he was just over twenty and not yet under the spell of Schönberg. They are no more ‘modern’ than the songs of Richard Strauss and Hugo Wolf and especially Die Nachtigall is a lovely song. I still prefer the songs with a female voice, which makes them more transparent. A lighter tenor voice would probably work better; Bezuyen presses too hard and this lessens the impact.
Something of a mixed bag, in other words, but there are many good things here, not least in Dichterliebe. For readers with limited knowledge of German it’s a pity that there are no translations of the song-texts, but they are easily accessible on-line.
Göran Forsling
Masterwork Index: Dichterliebe

Track listing
1. Im wunderschönen Monat Mai [1:39]
2. Aus meinen Tränen sprießen [0:58]
3. Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube, die Sonne [0:33]
4. Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’ [1:54]
5. Dein Angesicht so lieb und schön [2:43]*
6. Lehn’ deine Wang’ [1:00]*
7. Ich will meine Seele tauchen [0:58]
8. Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome [2:28]
9. Ich grolle nicht [1:41]
10. Und wüssten’s die Blumen, die kleinen [1:22]
11. Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen [1:34]
12. Hör’ ich das Liedchen klingen [2:26]
13. Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen [1:02]
14. Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen [2:36]
15. Es leuchtet meine Liebe [1:43]*
16. Mein Wagen rollet langsam [3:55]*
17. Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet [2:45]
18. Allnächtlich im Traume [1:54]
19. Aus alten Märchen winkt es [2:59]
20. Die alten, bösen Lieder [5:00]
* Removed before publishing
21. Nacht [4:44]
22. Schilflied [2:19]
23. Die Nachtigall [2:33]
24. Traumgekrönt [3:04]
25. Im Zimmer [1:22]
26. Liebesode [2:13]
27. Sommertage [1:55]