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Henry Fogel
Fanfare, November 2018

It brings us competent performances of rarely recorded music, well played on 19th-century instruments but without the dryness of affect and raw sound that one often finds in HIP readings. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir sings with superb intonation and a good blending of voices… The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra plays the period instruments at a high level. The solo singing is generally fine, too… © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, September 2018

The soloists are delightful, though I wondered for a time whether the “mezzo” could have been encouraged to curb “her” enthusiasm some—and maybe “her” fruity timbre along with it. Then I checked the booklet and found out that “she” is a countertenor. So much for that idea. The choir is fine. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, June 2018

The performances throughout this disc are excellent. Carolyn Sampson, in particular, gives a feeling of wonder, especially in the opening of the Adventlied, where all the soloists and the chorus sing beautifully. The orchestra, though a baroque ensemble, has a heft that the composer would have appreciated. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, June 2018

Written in November 1848 to a text from Rückert’s “Pantheon”, the 17-minute Adventlied combine religious, ethical and humanistic themes and was likely inspired by that year’s political revolutionary activity. This is the only currrently available recording of the half-hour set of four choral ballads (texts by Geibel) whose subject is the forbidden love of a page and a princess dating from 1852 (Chandos did one back in 2000). Excellent notes, especially on Schumann’s back-to-basics Bach studies. German-English texts. © 2018 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2018

Robert Schumann thought highly of his lieder, but today his choral works seldom receive performances this disc being the World Premiere recording of Adventlied. Maybe the overt sadness of the story of the Page who is killed on the order of the King for having the audacity of falling in love with the Princess, his bones are then found in the sea and are used to fashion an instrument on which the Merman plays, its sounds break the heart of the Princess who dies. Lasting more than half an hour, it is not a story to make a pleasant Saturday evening concert, but as a musical score Schumann lavished on it some of his most beautiful music. The words of Adventlied have a religious connotation, and Schumann had misgivings in using that title as he thought it would only be performed at that part of the religious calendar. Musically it belongs to the late Romantic era, its warm and comforting textures falling on the ear with considerable pleasure. The disc is completed by a version of Bach’s Cantata, ‘Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht’ in the version used by Robert Schumann in a Dresden concert of 1849. Having frequented himself with a long study of Bach’s music, he found the freedom to stamp something of Schumann onto that performance. Artistically the disc is of the highest quality, the soloists, Carolyn Sampson, Ulle Tuisk, Benno Schachtner, Werner Gura, Cornelius Uhle and Jonathan Sells are uniformly well suited to their roles, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is a superb group, while the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra play on period instruments—though it is not obvious—the conductor, Aapo Hakkinen ensuring the music progresses with urgency in the Bach cantata. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

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