MusicWeb International reviews more Classical recordings than any one else.

2020
53,555 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider



£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


TROUBADISC

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


 

Recordings of the Month

June


Beethoven String Quartets


Produzioni Armoniche


Seven Symphonic Poems


Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons


Vivaldi Violin Concertos

 

May


Beethoven Piano Concertos


Stradal Transcriptions


LOSY Note d’oro


Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Myrten, Opus 25 (1840) [50:59]
Sylwia Burnicka-Kalischewska (soprano), Michał Landowski (piano)
rec. 2019, Szczecin, Poland
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0455 [50:59]

Schumann's Myrten (more commonly spelled Myrthen) is a collection of twenty-six songs dating from his celebrated Liederjahr, the year in which he married Clara despite fierce opposition from her father. These songs were Schumann's wedding present to his bride. Acte Préalable, which promotes Polish music and musicians, is a company new to me.

Ms Burnicka-Kalischewska has a big voice which is a little unwieldy at a dynamic above mezzo forte and needs reining in, if possible, for the lieder repertoire. My impression from reading her biographical details is that her experience is predominantly operatic, though we would be wrong to imagine a bias towards Wagner, as she has sung roles in some Mozart operas, Die Fledermaus and Hänsel and Gretel.

Myrten includes several songs which are now among Schumann's most popular. In Widmung, the opening song, Ms Burnicka-Kalischewska has the necessary ardour but tends to sacrifice control. Der Nussbaum is not one of the more successful performances, seeming too effortful and lacking in simplicity. The same must be said for her handling of many of these songs.  In the eighth song, Talismane, initially she is better, more suited to the declamatory style, but even here, when we reach the legato middle section, the shortcomings become more obvious.

Not wishing to labour this review, nor to repeat the same point in different ways, I would say that we are faced with an old problem – how does a big, primarily operatic voice scale down to the requirements of lieder? The answer is that for many singers this is an awkward, not terribly successful transition. So many true lieder singers would give much more pleasure in these songs. One may easily understand why opera-singers are tempted into the field of lieder – there is such a vast and glorious repertoire. Unfortunately, Ms Burnicka-Kalischewska falls into the category of ill-advised. True, the feeling and spirit are there, though sometimes her intensifying of emotion verges on hysteria. Intonation also is neither pure enough or steady enough and in lieder such problems are most cruelly exposed. Along with Talismane, Nos. 18 (the second of a pair of Venetian songs) and 19 (Hauptmanns Weib) are among the more successful performances, notable for a firmer grip on the melodic line. The pianist Michał Landowski is a model of sensitivity, insight and musicianship. I should very much look forward to hearing him in some solo repertoire.

Apart from occasional inelegant English terminology and construction, the booklet notes, written by our singer, are perceptive, raising some interesting points, while the complete texts are included.

Philip Borg-Wheeler

Contents
Myrten, 26 Mélodies pour voix et piano, op. 25:
Widmung
Freisinn
Der Nussbaum
Jemand
Sitz' ich allein
Setze mir nicht
Die Lotosblume
Talismane
Lied der Suleika
Die Hochländer-Witwe
Lied der Braut I (Mutter! Mutter!)
Lied der Braut II (Lass mich ihm am Busen hangen)
Hochländers Abschied
Hochländisches Wiegenlied
Aus den hebräischen Gesängen (Mein Herz ist schwer)
Rätsel
Zwei Venetianische Lieder I (Leis' rudern hin)
Zwei Venetianische Lieder II (Wenn durch die Piazza)
Hauptmanns Weib
Weit, weit
Was will die einsame Träne
Niemand
Im Westen
Du bist wie eine Blume
Aus den östlichen Rosen
Zum Schluss



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


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

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger