Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen Op.48 No. 9 - Score and Parts

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The right hand weaves seemingly improvised patterns of notes which betoken someone almost drunk with the memory of that magical kiss.

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The postlude comes to an end with a succession of no fewer than four identical plagal cadences E minor — B minor , liquidly languid, almost casual, and decorated with gently purling grace notes. Here, as always, Schumann proves himself the master of balanced repetition: The song shall tremble and quiver Like the kiss her lips Once gave me In a sweet and wondrous hour.

In the cathedral hangs a picture, Painted on gilded leather; Into my life's wilderness It has cast its friendly rays. But in May the imagination is that of a genius at the height of his powers. The look of the music on the page suggests an earlier master, an organ piece by Bach perhaps, a composer whom Schumann had learned to revere through his close colleague and friend Mendelssohn. Sustained left-hand semibreves seem like mighty pedal-points, and the pomposo descent of the right-hand music evokes the double-dotted grandeur of Baroque ceremonial.

Eric Sams hears water music in the fluidity of these falling phrases, the left-hand semibreves as solid as cathedral stone. In fact, this paean of praise to the Rhine, and to the cathedral of holy Cologne, is over in a few bars, for this song has another purpose.

More of this later. Here he spirits us, as if by magic carpet or nineteenth-century helicopter, on a sightseeing tour where we are promised another glimpse of the poet-hero. Belsatzar, another Heine-Schumann production, had used similar techniques for a blasphemous king. The imaginary shooting-script for Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome is something like this: With the last of these camera angles the lied trounces the lens: The key is E minor, the time signature alla breve. At the same time the bass line doubles the voice which gives the musical construction its monumental solidity.

It is this touch which incidentally shifts the music into the subdominant, a plagal progression ideal for entering a church which opens the door of the cathedral and introduces a human element into what has been, so far, an imposing but impersonal travelogue. For the beginning of strophe 2 all is suddenly sweet and humble religious devotion.

The poet may have got to know this work of art in Cologne Cathedral he once claimed to have fallen in love with it but today it is to be seen in the nearby Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Having arrived in this key the relative major we are allowed to stay there only for a single beat. G major with B at the top is replaced by E flat major B flat at the top in first inversion; this drop of a semitone is followed by a melting shift into diminished-seventh harmony with unchanged treble and bass notes, but incorporating C sharp and E natural.

This harmonic transformation has occurred across the bar line — a disorientation akin to syncopation which produces a further sense of astonishment; in a sequence of similar progressions, tied minims fall in semitones: The snaking line in dotted crotchets and quavers is now heard as a partially concealed inner voice. It is impossible for the pianist to play this chain of harmonies without marking these dawning realisations with some sort of rubato. That this music registers also an element of shock — perhaps the frisson accompanying forbidden emotions — is explained later in the song.

At the beginning of the third strophe the dotted rhythms which had betokened the movement of water at the opening now serve to depict the floating of flowers and angels around the image of Our Lady, a similarly liquid image. When considered in this linear way, this use of an A minor triad E-C-A merged with a D minor one A-F-D , and then a similar conjunction of chords a semitone higher, is modern and innovative. The entwining of the piano writing around this vocal line is particularly sensual; voice and piano conjoin in canonic reverie, and three times the piano writing aspires upwards in leaps of an octave and a tenth as if the viewer were stretching out to touch the picture in mute adoration.

As long as this rapture referred only to the Virgin Mary no one could object; there had been an erotic aspect to Marian worship since at least the Middle Ages. As a young man the poet had been much given to this kind of religious imagery. After all, the lover is clearly no virgin, and if the Virgin resembles her …! We must suppose that Schumann, whose only Madonna was Clara, was unembarrassed by this gleeful and jarring conjunction of sacred and profane.

This leads to a mighty return to the tonic, and a seventeen-bar postlude which is an extended version of the opening accompaniment. This music also serves as an introductory link to the song which follows — Ich grolle nicht.

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It is this piano music, surely, which marks the emotional turning point in the cycle. The lover may be beautiful, but she is also not what she claims to be. To those who opposed her worship, the Virgin Mary was a similar fraud. One remembers that the shared anti-Roman Catholic sentiments of the eighteen-year old composer and Heine were a talking point when they met in Munich. I've known that long. For I saw you in my dreams, And saw the night within your heart, And saw the serpent gnawing at your heart; I saw, my love, how pitiful you are.

I bear no grudge. All of this flies in the face of the music that Schumann wrote for these words. In this outpouring of emotion there is not a shred of compassion for her circumstances. There is only one victim in this scenario, and it is not the girl.

She does not seem to suffer from the serpent at her bosom, but seems positively to nurture it, a symbol not of her misfortune as Heine intended but of her wicked heartlessness. The left-hand chord in E minor which ends Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome gives way to a C major chord, or rather a succession of them, in the right hand. An E minor chord in the bass clef is the same as a C major one, if read in the treble. The two chords have much in common; by the rise of a semitone B shifting to C one tonality melts into another.

Thus a religious icon is transformed into a bejewelled Jezebel, a madonna into Madonna. The right-hand quavers are unceasing throughout the song, and they are underpinned by sturdy minims. This is perhaps the most simple accompaniment in the Dichterliebe and, significantly, the most memorable tune.

The aria of denunciation begins by pretending to be something else. This stoicism is a front for affront. The melody is a terrific one in C major and a marvellous portrait of the wronged Heine in full flood of righteous indignation. The sweep of the music has a noble demeanour, even if rather stagey in the grand manner, a classic example of making a fuss about not making a fuss.

The return of the melody does not disappoint. Lower voices refuse the jump and stay on the D. It is true that the higher option is an ossia which appears in smaller print in the score, and there is some musical reason for keeping to the lower version. However, ever since Schumann wrote the song the ear has yearned for the thrill of that top note, and singers long to deliver it.

Were I ever to encounter a singer with a magnificent top A at his disposal who nevertheless insists on the lower option out of musical conviction, I would salute the perfect altruist; as it is, I have heard many an impassioned argument for the superiority of the lower version, but always from singers who do not have the high note in their armoury. A turbulent five-bar postlude ending with three short, sharp chords, all marked forte hammers home the anger, pain and hurt. For I saw you in my dreams, And saw the night within your heart, And saw the serpent gnawing at your heart— I saw, my love, how pitiful you are.

Sie hat ja selbst zerrissen, Zerrissen mir das Herz. If the nightingales knew How sad I am and sick, They would joyfully make the air Ring with refreshing song. And if they knew of my grief, Those little golden stars, They would come down from the sky And console me with their words. But none of them can know; My pain is known to one alone; For she it was who broke, Broke my heart in two. The poem rings delicate bells for Schubertians. As in Ich will meine Seele tauchen the pianistic texture shows Schumann at his most shimmering: In earlier music this type of churning pianistic device has been employed to depict horror, danger, suspense and so on.

He etiolates the robust tremolo by making tenths and sixths whisper euphoniously between hands as close together as if they were embroidering moonbeams. This brings each of the first three strophes to a close, a symbol of healing and a benediction for a problem solved. It is also as if Schumann has suddenly introduced Clara into the music. The vocal line follows suit: But we have now turned the corner into a new, and suddenly frightening, pathway: This suddenly passionate fragment of melody in D minor raises the emotional temperature by several degrees.

We remember that Robert and Clara had terrible quarrels and periods of estrangement. Conjectural rhapsodising has been replaced by harsh reality, and the singer and pianist prepare to reveal the anger and scorn that has been artfully repressed until this moment. For the first time the accompanying demisemiquavers cease. Poetic analogies with the world of nature and which promise emotional redemption have melted away, and all is in deadly earnest.

Schumann allows the poet a moment of unequivocal resentment which is expressed by the explosive pianistic commentary as much as by the vehemence of the vocal cadence. This begins with a pair of identical flourishes, wide-ranging triplets in semiquavers, which are devilishly tricky to play.

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They make their crab-like way up and down the keyboard as the left hand punches out staccato quavers in support. Nothing in the song so far has prepared us for this new material. This is, in any case, unspecified — this is one of three songs in the cycle without any indication of tempo and mood. If the nightingales knew How sad I am and sick, They would joyfully make the air resound With refreshing song.

But none of them can know, My pain is known to one alone; For she it was who broke, Broke my heart in two. What a clashing, what a clanging, What a drumming, what a piping; And the lovely little angels Sobbing and groaning in between.

We are plunged into the musical celebrations surrounding a rural wedding ceremony. Here the purpose is different: This is a new type of song where piano and voice go their separate ways — the singer wants nothing to do with the swirling activity all around him and sings against the accompaniment rather than with it; he is both contemptuous of the occasion and intimidated by it; this discomfort is superbly captured in the way the vocal line seems hemmed in by the piano.

But here that process is reversed: This emphasises the fact that the singer is an unwelcome intruder who has entered the party when it is full swing and is powerless to affect the turn of events. It also shows that Schumann is so carried away by his determination to write a convincing instrumental piece of music that he is prepared to change the poem accordingly.

Lines 2 and 4 in the first strophe are repeated, as are lines 1 and 3 in the second. This makes it clear that in writing this music the composer has drawn on his memories of his estrangement with Clara when he believed she was considering marrying someone else. This keyboard pattern will challenge and fox pianists until the end of time. It takes a lifetime of playing to devise a safe set of fingerings for this devilishly unpredictable sequence of notes which snake and writhe their way around the stave, demanding every now and then a crossing of hands, seemingly a metaphor for couples narrowly avoiding bumping into each other on the dance floor.

In many a performance these moments of potential collision between left and right hand have turned into dodgem-car catastrophe at the keyboard. The vocal line is written in terraced dynamics, such as those favoured by Poulenc but unusual for Schumann: This creates a sense of emotional instability. Schumann was to write another song, this time to a Hans Andersen poem, about another harried wedding observer — Der Spielmann Op This impression of derangement is aided by the long-term harmonic movement of the piece which begins with an eight-bar pedal on the dominant leading to a brief dalliance with the D minor tonic before whirling off into other areas of the room.

Here this intimate phrase is trumpeted forte which adds a note of vicious sarcasm to the music. The Zwischenspiel momentarily abandons dancing in favour of stretches and leaps, a pianistic extravagance which combines the wildly beating heart of the narrator with the prancing of the wedding guests. The postlude is developed from the music of the opening with an important difference. After eight bars there is a sudden change of harmonic direction as the pitch of the music is hiked up by a perfect fourth.

The effect of this change of key is to tighten the tension of the music by giving the demented pianist-observer a chance to dance and weave in a higher and more plangent tessitura. This music seems refracted like light caught in a prism and the resulting patterns are distorted and phantasmagoric. The key change has made the listener accept G minor IV of the tonic D minor as the new key, so that a sudden shift back into D major does not seem like a conventional return to the home tonality in a major-key variant; in fact it leaves us hanging in the air.

What has begun as a heavy-footed dance ends with Mendelssohnian moonbeams, as if wicked elves had hijacked the gathering from the vanquished angels. The final five bars are a uniquely Schumannesque invention, a whimsical coda which is a delicate variant on a descending chromatic scale, as if tiny bells were suspended from a silver thread; or so the music looks on the stave with falling semiquavers dangling beneath a line of tinkling F sharps.

But we are also aware that his peace of mind, and perhaps even his sanity, are threatened. What a booming and ringing, What a drumming and piping; With lovely little angels Sobbing and groaning between. A dark longing drives me Out to the wooded heights, Where my overwhelming grief Dissolves in tears. Crestfallen music this, and we note that there are two verbal images in this poem that Heine has used before in the second section of Der arme Peter track The piano doubles this, the beginning of its postlude dovetailing with the dying strains of the voice.

In this way layers of heartbreaking musical memories build up, as if curdling in the brain of the tortured lover. This time the appearance of the obsessively repetitive Liedchen played in the same register as in the introduction is more dramatic, and supported by a more robust bass. The reproduction of a melodic cell, and its untimely intrusion into the texture, suggest the spread of a disease, an uncontrollable cancer in the music.

As if to verify this, what now follows are two bars of almost mad commotion: This build-up of sound and emotion explodes into a slew of right-hand semiquavers which erupt like lava, first springing upwards with the leap of an octave, and then dwindling in sequences to the bottom of the bass stave. To escape this tune is impossible it seems: The song is an extremely volatile one in many moods: There is an element of violence in the postlude, but this spirals down to an almost whimpering conclusion.

A dark longing drives me Up to the wooded heights, Where my overwhelming grief Dissolves in tears. Es ist eine alte Geschichte, Doch bleibt sie immer neu; Und wem sie just passieret, Dem bricht das Herz entzwei. The girl, out of pique, Takes the very first man To come her way; The boy is badly hurt. It is an old story, Yet remains ever new; And he to whom it happens, It breaks his heart in two. Following a song in G minor, the key is E flat major. This rise to the submediant breaks out of the tighter harmonic circle linking the earlier songs and is akin to a breath of fresh air. He is now hardened to tragedy — or so he claims — and able to cope with the hearty celebrations; he must preserve his sang froid above all.

Having humiliated himself on his last visit he is determined here to keep his spirits up and not lose face. He is nonchalant right up to the last minute, and then not quite nonchalant enough. The bass line begins with an isolated B flat phrased to E flat in the left, the second note falling on the strong beat of the bar. Let the dance begin! In the right hand an E flat major triad is punched out on the second quaver of the bar, a swaggering off-beat syncopation which conveys insouciance to a wonderful degree.

Another left-hand B flat falls to the next strong beat, this time a solitary D which launches a B flat7 chord in the right hand, and then back to the tonic bar 3 where we hear the first of the many left-hand leaps of a tenth which are such a feature of this piece. The composer, as always, is wonderfully inventive when it comes to whirring pianistic patterns such as these. This is a type of German square dance which seems ideally apt for a song about the changing of partners.

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Indeed one might almost expect that the words of the song were meant to be shouted over the top of the music by a dance-master instructing couples in their intertwining movements. The leaping bass line and the economy of the piano writing when one considers how easy it would have been for Schumann to slip into the complicated writing of his solo piano music style are a joy. For the moment this narrator seems to takes the utmost pleasure in the seemingly tortuous sequence of events he describes.

There is now an immediate switch to the moral of the story, as if spoken as an envoi in front of the curtain. The ritardando over three bars emphasises this, wrenching the music away from casual reportage into the realm of personal experience. Life goes on, it seems to be saying, and there is nothing that can be done to make it any easier.

A new passage of restless quavers, with strident right-hand chords accented off the beat, takes off in panic, as if attempting to find a way out of the emotional maze tradition seems to dictate a slight accelerando at this point , but in vain. The flowers whisper and talk, And look at me in pity: Here sound is the perfect metaphor for perfume.

Schumann, Robert - Dichterliebe, Op.48, No.9 - Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen

The sinking arpeggios suggest the wafting of the most beautiful and fragile flowers in the most gentle of breezes, their tendrils extending languidly along the stave as if to make a bower to shelter unhappy lovers. All of this beauty, and nevertheless a pervading melancholy!

The evocative powers of this music, so economical on the page, so powerful in effect, are an abiding wonder. Flowers have played an important part throughout the cycle. Schumann takes this image perfectly seriously. For the sensitive ear, this bright moment where sharps replace flats is like sudden colour flooding the screen in the hitherto black-and-white film The Wizard of Oz.

Like the moment when Dorothy wakes up in the colourful land of the Munchkins, the scenario is mad, and yet makes sense. She is dreaming of course, and so we suspect is Heine. For a while the poet holds back from making conversation with the flowers, and the harmony steps back into the flatter keys to tell us so. During our garden walk the changing colours and landscapes of the music have also been indicative of a gently unhinged mind.

The music for the first two lines of the second strophe suggests that Schumann had a strophic song in mind. This is what he wants us to think, and this enables him to play his next hand as a surprise. For this the composer has something equally amazing up his sleeve. For the preceding four bars we have been safely wafting in the more familiar realms of B flat major; and then the composer introduces an A flat into the bass, a note which has been heard nowhere else in the entire song. The assembled rows of flowers seem to turn their doleful glance on the poet at this very moment.

What follows is a foretaste of the great piano writing with which the cycle will close. The music is settled in B flat major for the final two bars, a filigree arpeggio which unwinds to the bottom of the stave. In this way the piano writing whispers into silence, a superb introduction to the unaccompanied opening of the next song. Be not angry with our sister, You sad, pale man. Ich wachte auf, und ich weinte Noch lange bitterlich. I wept in my dream; I dreamt that you were leaving me. I woke, and wept on Long and bitterly.

The music is a combination of funereal chant and death march heard through a ghostly sonic prism which adds something elfin and grotesque to what might be taken to be the sound of a muffled drumroll. The main impression is one of musical and emotional emptiness, the white spaces on the page indicative of a dream landscape of arid loneliness and bereavement. It is interesting that it is only at this late stage that Schumann allows death to intrude into his cycle, and then only tangentially. The death of the beloved is only the first of three hypotheses raised in the poem.

The fear of death expressed in Dein Angesicht had probably ensured its exclusion from the cycle, and the other poems where the lover lies in her grave were ignored by Schumann. Even in this song death is an unsubstantiated nightmare rather than a narrative fact. The key is E flat minor, an exotic tonality not found elsewhere in the context of this cycle, and a flat-key corollary to the sharp-rich B major of the song which follows.

It is quite common to hear the vocal part of this song incorrectly droned at half the speed of the pianistic interjections. The vocal line is almost recitative, but not quite. Thus the song progresses in these fits and starts — unaccompanied arioso followed by a flicker of pianistic life or death in a skeletal spasm of dry and convulsive quavers.

In the third strophe Heine ironically raises an even more awful possibility: First a statement of the opening melody in glutinous E flat minor chords in the piano. Smooth chords in dotted crotchets underpin a tune that is now familiar, but here harmonised for the first time. In the wake of this deluge a sforzando dotted crotchet tied across the bar-line subsides on to a chord of A flat minor, a stupefied echo. The postlude is a dispassionate reappearance of the motif of the muffled drumroll, and after a pause of nearly two bars it is surprisingly tricky for pianists to count these rests accurately a final V — I cadence, two staccato quavers like a pair of teardrops.

I wept in my dream, I dreamt you were leaving me. Du sagst mir heimlich ein leises Wort Und gibst mir den Strauss von Zypressen. Wistfully you look at me, Shaking your fair little head; Stealing from your eyes Flow little tears of pearl. You whisper me a soft word And hand me a wreath of cypress. I wake, the wreath is gone, And I cannot remember the word. So far so good. And then a carefully worked-out masterstroke. The piano interlude is the purest Schumann: The second strophe is more or less musically identical to the first, and is subject to the same mixture of musical inspiration and slightly questionable prosody.

The same piano interlude that had served between the first and second verse here seems as gentle as a comforting caress. For the third strophe the music is largely the same as for the first two with an important difference at the end. This is an image that Heine has probably derived from a dream sequence in Heinrich von Ofterdingen by Novalis where the hero hears a word in his dreams which resonates through his entire being. On waking he would have given his life to have remembered that single word.

Wistfully you look at me, Shaking your fair little head; Tiny little pearl-like tears Trickle from your eyes. I wake up and the wreath is gone, And I cannot remember the word. Und laute Quellen brechen Aus wildem Marmorstein. Where brightly coloured flowers Bloom in the golden twilight, And glow sweet and fragrant With a bride-like face;. And green trees Sing primeval melodies, Mysterious breezes murmur, And birds too join in warbling;.

And misty shapes rise up From the very ground, And dance airy dances In a strange throng;. And blue sparks blaze On every leaf and twig, And red fires race Madly round and round;.

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And loud springs gush From wild marble cliffs. And strangely in the streams Reflections shine on and on. Ah, could I but reach that land, And there make glad my heart, And be relieved of all pain, And be blissful and free! Ah, that land of delight, I see it often in my dreams, But with the morning sun It melts away like mere foam. It is surely a rocking-horse that the composer has in mind in fashioning the Bewegung governing this song. In musical terms the song is cast as a rather complex but masterful rondo: The opening melody [A] is announced in an eight-bar prelude; this is taken up as the somewhat rollicking music of the first strophe.

The piano writing is generous, almost soloistic: Although the prelude is placed higher in the keyboard than much else in the cycle no doubt to capture the light, bright world of childhood enchantment care must be taken not to swamp the voice. In his quasi-autobiographical Buch Le Grand Heine tells us of three beautiful sisters whom he befriended as a child; their cousin Johanna was especially gifted at recounting fairytales.

With her white hand she pointed through the window to the mountains and told the boy that all the magic events she described were taking place over there, in the distance; he was enthralled. The music for the second strophe is less memorably melodic and made up of a repeated four-bar phrase [B].

The accompaniment here is cantering staccato chords which mark the first quaver of each beat in both hands with the addition of an insouciant left-hand quaver on the offbeats. This is followed by a four-bar interlude the opening section of A which is transposed to the mediant. The third strophe is set to new musical material [C] — this is a repeated two-bar phrase followed by a sequential repetition of these four bars taken as a whole, only a major third higher. This is followed by a bold interlude for the piano, a forte version of [A] beginning in the tonic, but soon shifting into the dominant.

The blue sparks and wildfire of strophe 5 are set to the same music [B] as for strophe 2, although transposed a fourth lower. Staccato quavers in the accompaniment are made to run and crackle; in these one can almost fancy that one hears the dry sound of matches scratching against tinder in an effort to kindle a fire.

The poet seems drunk with the range and colour of his vocabulary. In strophe 6 images are piled recklessly on each other as if he were preparing to light a bonfire of old pictures. Schumann rises magnificently to the occasion and provides music that is equally extravagant, similarly exaggerated. The musical material [X] is new and to be heard nowhere else in the song. The right-hand accompaniment, more or less fixed in one spot on the keyboard, pulsates with a full hand of chords including those which have to be double-thumbed. The sketches show that at first he had stolen this word for only one appearance, but the song is immeasurably improved by his using it again.

The melody for strophe 7 is that of the beginning [A]. Instead, familiar musical material appears in augmentation: It is important to emphasise that the rhythm itself is still as tight and tense as at the beginning, but it is taking longer to traverse the familiar melodies. In this way Schumann finds a musical means to illustrate that the poet admits defeat in his quest to recapture the past, and the limitations of old age are ruefully accepted. The music for the last strophe continues as a chorale. The melody is the same as that for the third strophe [C] although in a different key, and once again it is framed in longer note-values.

Immediately after the singer finishes, the tiny little quaver bump on the tonic deep in the bass is like a suddenly bursting bubble. Bauer has an engaging sound, and his command of the text is unquestionably solid. Working together, Bauer and Hielscher achieve a remarkably fine balance and convincing interpretation of these two major sets of Lieder. As familiar as the music may be, their approach conveys a freshness often found in live performances that is sometimes difficult to capture on a recording.

At the same time, he allows some lines to linger just enough to reinforce the meaning. His tone rings, at times, like a warm cello, and this adds to the ambiance of the performance. Her playing reflects a sensitivity that is often extolled, but not always heard. It is welcome here, where the accompanist and the vocalist must unite to present the Lieder as a kind of chamber music. At some points, the accompaniment requires a full sound that must not overpower the singer, and Hielscher is clearly sensitive to such moments in the score.

The opening song of the Dichterliebe is particularly effective with its tentative, somewhat hovering sense of rhythm that solidifies once the voice enters. Upon entering, Bauer conveys a musing, dreaming quality, which sets the tone for the cycle. Such definition is evident in the subsequent song and those that follow, and Hielscher confirms that in her approach to the accompaniment, which is prominent without being intrusive.

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  • Texts and Translations for Dichterliebe by Heinrich Heine and Robert Schumann, Op. 48.
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From the pacing given to this and the remaining pieces in the cycle, it is clear that Bauer and Hielscher worked out their interpretation of this familiar music, and it is a convincing one. In these more sustained Lieder, Bauer offers a laudable presentation of the text with his clear diction and sensitivity to both the rhythms of the music and those of the poetry.

Already the second volume of the series is announced, and it includes selections from Liebesfruhling , op. While it is not entirely essential when the focus should be on the fine performance, the liner notes are minimal, with the entire insert typeset on two pages. Since this is well-known repertoire by Schumann, it should not be a problem to find texts elsewhere, either by consulting editions of the music or other CDs.

Naxos makes texts and translations available at the following URL: This is a small concession that should be no means detract from the fine performance found on this recording. Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message. Recently in Reviews Fantasia on Christmas Carols: Sonoro at Kings Place The initial appeal of this festive programme by the chamber choir, Sonoro , was the array of unfamiliar names nestled alongside titles of familiar favourites from the carol repertoire.

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