A Poet’s Love through the eyes of Heine, Schumann & Lysenko
Laura McAlpine; David Ellakis

Two song cycles based on selected texts from Heinrich Heine’s Buch der Lieder are offered on this recording, the first being Robert Schumann’s famed and well-loved Dichterliebe. This cycle is most often performed by male voice, yet, lest we be mistaken that Laura McAlpine’s fine performance is without precedent, this was actually first dedicated to a woman, German soprano Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient.

McAlpine’s clear, expressive voice does justice to the light-hearted as well as the more dramatic songs. While I sometimes feel she could achieve even more expressiveness by taking more liberties with the rhythm “as written,” pianist David Eliakis provides an excellent foil by use of measured rubato that, nonetheless, stays perfectly in sync with the singer.

The second part of the recording is a cycle of texts by Heine set by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko (1842–1912). Despite pressure to embrace “Great Russian” culture from the Russian Imperial Music Society which had funded his studies abroad, Lysenko devoted himself to Ukrainian music, setting all his vocal compositions, including this, in his native language. A challenge for many singers, but McAlpine has clearly done her research, mining her resources as well as her family heritage to deliver these texts naturally and with fine artistic sensibility.

Pin It

Back to top