This is an interesting compilation, packaged attractively in the new fold-out
style - 'an environmentally sound alternative to the plastic jewel case'
(there is correspondence about the merits and demerits of these in Gramophone).
It was recorded at Finchcocks in Kent, where Richard Burnett presides over
his wonderful collection of historic pianos, and he plays his own Graf (1826)
which sounds fine. The clarinet used is a copy of an 1810 instrument, made
of boxwood, with eight keys. The very personal notes are contributed by each
of the artists and document their collaboration. Track times are provided,
but not the total, and my copy had to be replaced because the last track
Evelyn Tubb's voice is a little quivery and insecure at times, but she sings
with intensity and conviction, portraying better than some heavier voices
Schumann's vulnerable young girl, discovering love & the joy of motherhood
and the grief which followed the premature death of her husband. It is not
a competitive version of this famous song cycle, but goes very well with
Burnett's accompaniment, as do the Schubert and Spohr songs for all three
musicians. Franz Paul Lachner (1803-90) is not a household name, but he is
surprisingly well represented in the CD catalogues. However, his setting,
for voice with piano and clarinet, of the first poem of Schumann's cycle,
Seit ich ihn gesehen, shows up the difference between an ordinary composer
and a great one, and leaves me less than eager to follow up Lachner!
Peter Grahame Woolf