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“I would like to sing myself to death like a nightingale”, wrote Schumann in 1840, revealing a sudden passion for the lied, a genre he had hitherto disdained. Written in 1852 in a period of intense nervous suffering, the cycle of Poems of Queen Mary Stuart stands out for its austerity and exceptional concentration of resources; it might be seen as Schumann’s testament.
"it's hard to think of a more consistently pleasing example of this voice category recording today" International Record Review, February 2009
“The cycle fits Fink's grave, elegant voice ideally, while pianist Anthony Spiri gently highlights some of the stranger timbres. In the Rückert and Myrthen songs, "Jemand" and "O Sonn', o Meer, o Rose!" have extraordinary shimmer”
“Bernarda Fink's light, fresh-voiced mezzo is ideally cast in Schumann's early, ardent Myrthen songs… Here, as throughout the recital, her every phrase is illumined and delicately coloured by the fine-tuned accompanying of Anthony Spiri. …ten of Schumann's settings of Friedrich Rückert, in which Fink captures delightfully the composer's heartfelt love for the inner music of this poetry, in all its fragrant and rapt ardour. This enticing programme ends with a delicately inflected performance of the Op. 39 Liederkreis. Both Fink and Spiri recreate the elusive half-lights and scents of these Eichendorff settings, with every vocal turn and ornament clear and poised, every nuance of rhythm and dynamic seemingly instinctively achieved.”
“Fink lays bare the pain of both poet and composer, sensitively supported by Anthony Spiri. Rare glimpses of warmth...are beautifully conveyed, even if it's a fleeting comfort...'Mondnacht' is compelling and in 'Zwielicht' she grasps your attention as only the greatest of Lieder singers can do.”
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