Magazine article Gramophone

Schumann: 'Song Cycles'

Magazine article Gramophone

Schumann: 'Song Cycles'

Article excerpt


'Song Cycles'

Liederkreis--Op 24; Op 39. Dichterliebe, Op 48

James Gilchrist ten Anna Tilbrook pf

Linn (F) CKD474 (77' * DDD * T/t)

Yes, the three of them do fit. It might seem an obvious piece of programming to bring together the three best known of Schumann's song-cycles but few discs have done so. At 77 minutes, there could even be room for a short encore. If the coupling is what is required, James Gilchrist and his meticulous accompanist, Anna Tilbrook, have the market almost to themselves.

Gilchrist sets the mood from the start, entering the world of the Op 24 Liederkreis with a soft touch and confiding tone. These are lyrical performances, nicely fluent in pace, though the voice can sound shallow when he is singing quietly and sometimes (more troublingly) edgy with a fast vibrato. In the Op 39 Liederkreis Gilchrist's light tenor is good at painting the moonlit night of 'Mondnacht' and the more ominous twilight of 'Zwielicht', but there is a bit too much wide-eyed, breathless urgency, for example in the second 'In der Fremde'. …

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