Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * C Schumann: 'Brahms Beloved'

Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * C Schumann: 'Brahms Beloved'

Article excerpt

Brahms * C Schumann

'Brahms Beloved' Brahms Symphonies (a)--No 1, Op 68; No 3, Op 90 C Schumann Beim Abschied (c). Die gute Nacht, die ich dir sage (b). Ich hab' in deinem Auge (c). Lorelei (c). Mein Stern (b). Sie liebten sich beide (b/c). Das Veilchen (c). Volkslied (b). Warum willst du and're fragen (b) (c) Dame Felicity Lott sop (b) Wolfgang Holzmair bar (a) Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra, Milan / John Axelrod (bc) pf Telarc [M] [2] TEL34659-02 (119' * DDD)

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The second volume of John Axelrod's 'Brahms Beloved' series again has Brahms's orchestral monuments alongside Clara Schumann's genteel songs that aren't flattered by comparison, but suggest that she employed emotional templates that directly correspond with the symphonies. Brahms's First Symphony is paired with Schumann's more confessional songs that speak of recent emotional wounds, often with verse expressed in the first person. The Third Symphony sits alongside songs with the more detached serenity of resignation.

The demure emotionalism of the songs makes a good case for them when heard separately--with Felicity Lott and Wolfgang Holzmair, both past the age of 60, in good voice and putting their decades of interpretative mileage to the best possible use. …

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