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Beethovenfest

Beethoven and more podcast #7: String quartet with soprano

"Cast away that which ails you, heart!" urges one song in this series of six, written by Robert Schumann: dark and delicate songs rendered by a rising star on the musical horizon.

Soprano Mojca Erdmann

Soprano Mojca Erdmann also took the stage at the Salzburg Festival this year

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Six Songs for voice and piano, op. 107 (adapted for string quartet and soprano by Aribert Reimann)

I. Herzeleid (Heartbreak)

II. Die Fensterscheibe (The Windowpane)

III. Der Gärtner (The Gardener)

IV. Die Spinnerin (The Spinstress)

V. Im Wald (In the Wood)

VI. Abendlied (Evening Song)
Mojca Erdmann (soprano)

Minguet Quartet

MP3 recorded at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn on September 19, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW)

The Six Songs of opus 107 were written in the winter 1851 and '52 during Robert Schumann's time as Municipal Director of Music in Duesseldorf. The prevailing mood in these brief songs is dark and delicate. "Heartbreak" begins with the words, "The willow branches hang down limply / and the waters flow by sadly..."

The words Schumann set to music here are from poems by Titus Ulrich, Paul Heyse, Wolfgang Müller of Koenigswinter, Gottfried Kinkel and - the only well-known poet among them - Eduard Moericke. Schumann did not expect great artistry from his text sources but instead that the poetry guide his thoughts and inspiration toward a basic expressive quality.

Contemporary composer Aribert Reimann (born in 1936) adapted the songs in an effort to more clearly delineate the subtle motifs within them. His version calls for accompaniment of the voice not by piano but rather by string quartet. The vocal soloist here is Mojca Erdmann, born in Hamburg and a rising star in the classical music scene.

Author: Rick Fulker
Editor: Greg Wiser



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