Schumann: Portraits (Songs By Clara And Robert Schumann) (Joseph Breinl/ Miah Persson) (BIS: BISSACD1834)
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Women in love, in pain and in emotional turmoil - such is the subject matter of most of the songs that Swedish soprano Miah Persson and pianist Joseph Breinl have chosen for this recital of works by Robert and Clara Schumann. The year of Robert and Clara's wedding is often called Schumann's Liederjahr; during this 'year of song' he composed more than 150 songs, and his wedding gift to Clara was in fact a song cycle, Myrthen, Op. 25. Sixteen songs dated 1840 can be found here, including the Frauenliebe und Leben cycle, the crowning achievement of the year. But Robert also encouraged Clara to write songs and in 1841 they jointly published a collection entitled The Spring of Love. Clara had composed three of the songs (the 3 Lieder, Op. 12) and Robert the remaining nine, including Der Himmel hat eine Trane geweint. This disc also features Robert's final song cycle - composed in 1852 and focussing on the life and tragic end of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots - along with four of Clara's last songs. As well as being well-known in opera houses across the world, Miah Persson is increasingly in demand as a recitalist, performing regularly with Joseph Breinl.