Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben

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ROBERT SCHUMANN
Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben
Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Roger Vignoles (piano)

[ Harmonia Mundi Gold / CD ]

Release Date: Thursday 20 March 2008

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Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine (July 2002)

"Bernarda Fink covers herself in glory in a discerning selection of Schumann Lieder. I remember Sir John Eliot Gardiner saying how when he was rehearsing Berlioz's Les nuits d'été with the Czech Philharmonic and the mezzo Bernarda Fink - a singer he greatly admires and who also appears on his Haydn Masses disc (see below) - he got her to translate the songs for the orchestra (she is of Slovak parents, though born in Buenos Aires): something she was happy to do being a born communicator. This, her first Lieder disc, conveys that love of text and melody." (Gramophone)

***** Five Stars BBC Music Magazine (July 2002)

"...the highest accolade goes to Harmonia Mundi for a splendid account of Frauenliebe by Bernarda Fink and her accompanist Roger Vignoles...a performance of supreme intelligence...It's beautifully recorded, too, with Vignoles demonstrating why he is one of the world's most respected accompanists. I doubt I will hear as good a performance as this for quite some time."
- The Sunday Herald (2 Jun 2002)

"For all that Schumann's song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben was written at a time when a woman's place was under a man's thumb, he never held back from letting his sopranos vent their spleen. Bernarda Fink's sensitive and effusive performance with pianist Roger Vignoles is one based on equal terms. Vignoles's fluid accompaniments are never afraid of becoming expansive when required, Fink similarly is never backward in coming forward."
- The Scotsman (22 Apr 2002)

"When perfectly matched, as here, by Roger Vignoles on piano, [Bernarda Fink's] tonal purity and sensitive characterisation get right to the heart of the romanticism of Schumann's songs."
- The Daily Telegraph (8 Jun 2002)

"A terrific partnership; a definitive reading of Nachtlied."
- The Independent on Sunday (5 May 2002)

'The value of Schumann's songs lies chiefly in their spiritual depth, and in this respect they belong with the greatest and most magnificent inexistence; indeed on can say, with regard to the finest of them, that there are few creative works that can be placed quite beside them.' (Franz Brendel, 1860). Alongside Frauenliebe und -leben, Schumann's most famous cycle, here is his opus 90 to poems by Nikolaus Lenau, less well known today but quite as celebrated in its time.

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Born in the Argentine, Bernarda Fink studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. She won the first prize in the Nuevas Voces Líricas Competition in 1985 and then settled in Europe. She has appeared with orchestras like the London Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de France, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Prague, the Berlin Radio, the Suisse Romande Symphony Orchestras, the English Baroque Soloists, the Salzburg Mozarteum, I Solisti Veneti, Les Musiciens du Louvre, The Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields, Concerto Köln, Musica Antiqua Köln, The Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, under René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Neville Marriner, Marc Minkowski, Sir Roger Norrington.
She has also been heard at the Festivals of Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Tokyo, Montreux, Halle and the Berliner Philharmonie.

Bernarda Fink has sung in numerous opera productions (Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in patria in Montpellier and Innsbruck, La Cenerentola in Rennes, Così fan tutte in Barcelona and Salzburg), and has made over thirty recordings of works by Monteverdi (Orfeo, Ulisse, Poppea), Handel (Amadigi, Flavio, Giulio Cesare, Poro, Messiah), Bach (Mass in B minor), Rameau, Caldara, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Rossini, Dvorák, Hasse, Bruckner, Schumann, Brahms, a.o.
Many of these recordings have been awarded special distinctions, such as the Gramophone Award for Caldara's Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo and Handel's Giulio Cesare.

'The value of Schumann's songs lies chiefly in their spiritual depth, and in this respect they belong with the greatest and most magnificent inexistence; indeed on can say, with regard to the finest of them, that there are few creative works that can be placed quite beside them.' (Franz Brendel, 1860)

Tracks:

Fraueliebe und -leben op.42
Mignon op.79/29
Der Nussbaum op.25/3
Aufträge op.77/5
Die Lotosblume op.25/7
Ständchen op.36/2
Nachtlied op.96/1
Der Sandmann op.79/13
Das verlaßne Mägdlein op.64/2
Die Kartenlegerin op.31/2
Lieder op.90