Matthias Goerne (baritone),and Markus Hinterhäuser (piano) ★★★★ Harmonia Mundi HMM 902243
The cover image shows the faces of the two performers through a window, their expressions partially obscured by reflections of leafless, wintry trees.
Einsamkeit – loneliness – is the title of this collection of 19, mostly lesser-known Schumann songs. Before a single note is sung, the slightly hesitant reserve of Hinterhäuser’s piano introduction to Meine Rose (where the central metaphor is a rose “already drooping and pale”) sets a tone of introspection that clings to almost everything that follows. Think of the selection of music, predominantly from Schumann’s later output, as sung by Goerne for himself, in the melancholy of a closed room with little light. harmoniamundi.com MICHAEL DERVAN