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Robert A Moore
American Record Guide, January 2014

This is a music of many moods offering the performers abundant interpretive possibilities, and Bauer and Hielscher meet its challenges well. Bauer is an excellent singer…These are first-rate performances. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Steven Jude Tietjen
Opera News, January 2014

…this disc offers captivating, daringly individual performances of lesser-known Schumann lieder that are as deserving of our affection as the top-billed Liederkreis.

The highlight of the program is Bauer and Hielscher’s dramatic reading of Die Löwenbraut. In this lengthy ballad, Hielscher’s artistic voice glimmers and seethes beneath Bauer’s sculpted characters. Built solely on successions of chords, the song is a gradual, cyclical, almost futile journey through which Hielscher guides us. Bauer is naïve and timid as the young bride but roars through the lion’s homicidal rage with genuine angst.

…the song with the highest range, “Waldesgespräch,” is sung in the original key. With two narrative voices—the poet and the mysterious witch, Loreley—the difference in timbre is essential to Bauer’s expert characterization. He charges to the climactic high G-sharp with ferocity, Hielscher racing beside him in one of the most thrilling and completely realized moments on the recording.

Bauer and Hielscher perform “Der Knabe mit der Wunderhorn” with bright-eyed impetuosity. The rhythm of “Der Hidalgo” is more Italian bel canto than Sevillian machismo, but Schumann contrasts this with a melodic middle section that Bauer caresses with the beauty of his lyric instrument.

In the final song, “Liebesbotschaft,” Bauer gets to impress with the malleability of his instrument in long phrases. Hielscher, an equal partner throughout the recording, shows the strength of her artistry with the increased agency of the piano that leads to a brief, exquisite prelude… © 2014 Opera News Read complete review



Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, November 2013

Thomas E Bauer has been involved in several of the earlier issues in the Naxos Schumann Lieder Edition and has never disappointed. I have followed his development for about seven years and now he has reached the point where his insights into the texts and the expressivity of his vocal means are at a perfect equilibrium. Add to this that he is partnered by a pianist who understands his intentions and follows him like a shadow. I have admired Uta Hielscher on previous issues in this series and the present disc only confirms this. Listening to the very first song in Liederkreis one at once reacts to the poetry of the accompaniment and Bauer’s voice which shivers with emotions, finely nuanced. There is a youthful glow in Intermezzo and in Waldesgespräch the powerful dark timbre at the opening is imposing. Die Stille is light and intimate and the wonderful Mondnacht inward—one of the most beautiful readings I’ve heard. Schöne Fremde displays both Bauer’s effortless height and his black bottom-notes. Wehmut is another winner and the three concluding songs can be compared favourably against all the great interpreters of the past.

A disc to treasure. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Mary Kunz Goldman
The Buffalo News, August 2013

Naxos takes its Lieder mission very seriously and Thomas E Bauer takes a wonderful approach. He has a hearty baritone voice, but he is not heavy-handed. He sounds free and outdoorsy, good not only in the mercurial “Liederkreis” but is good for the folky “Der Knabe mit dem Wunderhorn.” Bauer is intuitive and entertaining. After “Liederkreis” you get to hear lesser-known gems such as the long, dramatic “Die Lowenbraut.” © 2013 The Buffalo News Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2013

I suppose it says much of Richard Schumann’s mental state that when he was, at last, able to marry his beloved Clara, he was writing such dark and troubled songs. In any other context, the twelve songs of Liederkreis are among the great masterpieces of German lieder. Using poems of Eichendorff that cover so many moods, but frequently returning to the scary scene of woods at night, they eventually end in more hopeful thoughts of a Spring Night. That Schumann’s vocal and keyboard colours are more subtle than with Schubert compositions from the same era, much of Liderkreis calls for a singer musing on the scene. Thomas Bauer is very happy in these musical surroundings, though his vocal quality is equally suitably for the dramatic passages in the disturbed imagery, and he characterises words with more than a passing interest. Die Gedichte was written to poems by Geibel in 1840, the same year as Liederkreis, and are more heroic in stance and draw on some of Schumann’s finest music. Die Lowenbraut (The Lion Bride) is an extended work and one of three to poems by Chamisso. Finally six songs to texts by Robert Reinick…His poems often reflect the work of the painter, and seem to have particularly touched a point in Bauer’s imagination, his performances of the Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers being the highlight of the disc. Uta Hielscher’s accompaniment is rewarding and the sound from South-west German Radio is admirable. © David’s Review Corner






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1:51:51 AM, 31 July 2014
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