CD & DVD

Nice music making but the point of a "Dichterliebe' remake for cello and piano is difficult to find

09.02.2015


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Schumann: “Dichterliebe” Op. 48, Fantasiestücke Op. 73. Andante and Variations Op. 46 * * *

Jan Vogler (cello), Helene Grimaud (piano), Moritzburg Festival Ensemble

Sony Classical

 

 

We all know Helene Grimaud is a good chamber pianist as well and her listening attitude to all the cello’s gestures in the Op. 73 “Fantasiestucke”, her quick response to the nuances whilst maintaining a character of her tone prove this further. Jan Vogler, a German cellist living in the US, has a mellow tone, which suits the Schumann pieces very well and we have good music making throughout, including the seldom played Op. 46 Andante and Variations. Having said these, the title of the CD and the main song cycle allowing that title does not deliver for me. I have listened to this CD over and over again and cannot find a reason for a cello transcription of the beautiful “Dichterliebe”. True, the cello is the closest instrument to the human voice and is not a major distraction. And, naturally, it goes well with some of the more melodic songs, though I cannot get off my mind the actual song also being sung as I hear the cello. As such, the couple do not really make a transcription and merely play the songs on the cello. Indeed, some of the less flowing songs do not match the cello at all and in the dramatic high point of the cycle, “Ich grille nicht” it totally fails, reaching nowhere near the passion of a singer. I cannot see this as a successful contribution to the Schumann discography.

Feyzi Erçin

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