Persson Shines With The Schumanns

Composer: Schumann
Repertoire:  Lieder by Robert and Clara Schumann, including Frauenliebe und Leben
Artists: Miah Persson (sop), Joseph Breinl (pf)
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Vocal
Label: BIS BIS-SACD-1834

The Music: This this CD highlights the closeness of Robert and Clara Schumann's connection – not just personal, but musical. For instance, one of the main motifs of Schumann’s song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben audibly derives from one of Clara’s Op.12 songs.

The Performance: Miah Persson from Sweden is a familiar face on the operatic stage and this is her first solo CD of Lieder. Her voice is pure, her diction is terrific and her musicality shines out of every note. And there’s superb partnership from Breinl at every turn. Persson’s emotional tone, though, is predominantly wholesome and well-balanced – nothing wrong with that, of course, but in Schumann’s hypersensitive world perhaps you’d want more intense engagement with volatile highs and lows. But in Frauenliebe und Leben she delivers a masterstroke: the first seven songs are dominated by that strong-centred balance, and the concluding blow – the husband’s death – is all the more devastating for the contrast.

The Verdict: A beautifully programmed, intimate and moving recital from a fast-rising operatic star. Hopefully this will be the first of many from her.

Want More? Persson sings Mozart arias fabulously in Un Moto di Gioia (BIS, BIS-SACD-1529).