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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, November 2013

Of the selections here, many are superb…there is much here that is priceless, and often in surprising places…[Schumann-Heink’s] recording of Brahms’s Sapphische Ode is superb…it is surprising to hear how well she could lighten that big, bright, dramatic contralto voice for the Lullaby, Schumann’s Mondnacht, and Schubert’s Die Forelle.

A large part of Schumann-Heink’s superiority as a singer came from the very fact that her voice was so malleable. There is a certain charm in her Die forelle…sung with lightness and a smile despite her rallentandos, but the real gem among the Schubert group is Erlkönig. I can’t recall another version of this song, by anybody…in which the four different voices (narrator, father, young boy, Erl-king) are delineated with such absolute perfection; and, moreover, where the drama of the situation is given with such extreme vividness.

The transfers, made by John Eargle, are professionally done…

…this set is very highly recommended. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

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