ORFEO International – Reviews

Important Releases Briefly Introduced

October 2018

ORFEO 1 CD C 953 181 B

Liederabend - Schumann, Brahms

The year 1974 saw some of the best artists of their time join forces at the Salzburg Festival to revive a repertoire that had long been neglected. The works in question were Robert Schumann’s “Spanisches Liederspiel” Op. 74 and Johannes Brahms’s “Liebeslieder Waltzes” Op. 52. C 953 181 B
C 953 181 B
Both these cycles call for up to four solo vocalists, and the Brahms songs are scored for a four-hand accompaniment. Such repertoire may have been ideal for the bourgeois drawing-rooms of the 19th century, but it was bound to fall foul of the 20th-century tendency to pigeonhole everything by genre. The excitement was all the greater, then, when Edith Mathis, Brigitte Fassbaender, Peter Schreier and Walter Berry together with pianists Paul Schilhawsky and Erik Werba performed these pieces during the Salzburg Festival in a manner that even today can arouse nothing but admiration. The rehearsal photos included in the booklet testify to the sheer love of music-making experienced by all who took part and thanks to the excellent soloists, all at the height of their vocal powers, that delight comes across just as strongly today, making this historic live recording a true audio document of enduring quality and stature.