Thursday, December 3, 2009

Schubert - Kennst du das Land - Johannette Zomer, Arthur Schoonderwoerd

Schubert - Kennst du das Land - Zomer, Schoonderwoerd
Vocal | Eac, flac, cue | no log, cover | 1 CD, 323 MB
September 4, 2007 | Alpha | RapidShare

Is this what Schubert performance sounded like in his own time?

The young Dutch soprano Johannette Zomer has a voice of a strikingly individual quality. How to describe it? Perhaps the most helpful guide may be to say that the sound lies between that of Emma Kirkby and a treble with a specially strong voice. In other words, it is bell-like, keen, with a notable absence of vibrato, not the sort of voice we customarily associate with Schubert singing, and one often lacking in a true legato. The results are of interpretations of piercing effect in both senses of the epithet.

Her musicality and intelligence are not in doubt in this programme depicting four heroines from literature. Walter Scott's Ellen is given all the eagerness and fidelity she needs, though the famous Ave Maria becomes a shade monotonous as delivered here. Gretchen's outburst of desperate longing takes on a different, not unappealing character, the passion overt in spite of the lack of warmth in the singing. Suleika's erotically inclined thoughts fare less well. Most successful are the sad musings of poor Mignon, to whom Zomer's plangent, exact tones seem best suited.

Her partner plays a copy of the piano Schubert had in his home. The sound is somewhat etiolated, but perhaps apt for some of the earlier of Schubert's piano pieces, of which the pair of Minuets dating from 1815 are the most interesting. In the songs, clarity takes presence over line. Altogether this disc offers a cleansing experience, though it certainly won't be to all tastes. The recording in a sympathetic Swiss hall has plenty of immediacy.--Alan Blyth

CD Content

01. Fantaisie en Do Mineur, D. 2 E
02. Suleika No. 1, Op. 14, D. 720
03. Suleikas zweiter Gesang, Op. 31, D. 717
04. Menuet en La Majeur, D. 334
05. Ellens erster Gesang No. 1, Op. 52, D. 837
06. Ellens zweiter Gesang No. 2, Op. 52, D. 838
07. Ellens dritter Gesang No. 6 (Hymne an die Jungfrau), Op. 52, D. 839
08. Adagio en Sol Majeur, D. 178
09. Gretchen am Spinnrade, Op. 2, D. 118
10. Menuet en La Mineur, D. 277 A
11. Mignon's Gesang, D. 321 Johannette Zomer
12. Lied der Mignon No. 2, Op. 62, D. 877
13. Lied der Mignon No. 4, Op. 62, D. 877
14. Lied der Mignon No. 3, Op. 62, D. 877


  1. Okay, Otto, I'll bite. The review you posted is refreshingly candid and in its own way quite intriguing. I imagine this isn't going to sound like the Hyperion cycle!

    Thank you for the chance to hear this.

  2. Hello! Could you please reupload this recording? The filefactory folder is empty... Thank you very much!



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