Franz Schubert may not have invented German art song or “Lieder” but he almost single-handedly cemented its importance in the development of music in the 19th century. He composed nearly 600 songs, many of which continue to play a crucial role in the training of the classical voice. On this recording from the Roméo Records label, soprano Sharon Rostorf-Zamir and pianist Daniel Gortler perform a selection of Schubert’s best-loved lieder.
Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg, a composer from Stuttgart, is one of the few identifiable predecessors to Schubert in the realm of lieder. Schubert, like Zumsteeg, sought to enhance serious poetry with music, not just song lyrics which sometimes carry little weight. His own compositions highlighted the works of the great poets of his day, such as Wilhelm Müller, whose poems make up two of Schuberts song cycles, “Die Schone Mullerin” and “Winterreise” And, of course, the great Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Our quick pick this week is from one of the world’s foremost choral ensembles, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. They are joined on this CD by the Estonian National Symphony and Tallinn Chamber Orchestras for another installment of their longtime collaboration with Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt. Tonu Kaljuste leads the ensembles on this recording titled “In principio.”