Schubert: Love & Lament
Compact Disc (Audio)
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Nienje Oostenrijk and Marianne Boer have selected 15 Lieder/Songs of Schubert with the theme 'Ladies Only'. These songs represent Schubert's strong empathy for women in poetry. Uncertainty and emotional fluctuations were seen as typically feminine qualities and it it not surprising that poets from the Bedermeier period used female characters to express their grief. The songs collected for this recital "Ladies Only" mark Schubert's strong empathy for women in Romantic poetry. Romanticism was a European cultural revolt against authority, tradition and Classical order (the Enlightenment). This movement permeated Western Culture during Schubert's creative lifetime (1797-1828) and focuses on the individual, the intuitive and the emotional, qualities that in those days were considered particularly female and inferior to reason. The Enlightenment habit of gendering masculine reason against feminine "irrationality" explains why Romantic poets in the Biedermeier era (1815-1848) used female personae to express their own male feelings of distress and grief by means of a "Klage" (a Complaint or a Lament). A second layer in these poems relates to the suppressed position of women in society, which deteriorated during this Biedermeier era, after a more liberal stance during the preceding Napoleonic era. Nienke Oostenrijk has carried out excellent research into the meaning of these songs and also has contacted the famous English philosopher Roger Scruton who wrote the essay "Schubert is needed now ore than ever." She paints an accurate picture of how feminine feelings have played a role in Schubert's life. The booklet of this production has thus become a meaningful document. This recording shows hoe Nienke and Marianne interpre these songs with great understanding of text and contect. It is a beautful combuiatiopn of depth and narralness, in which the interaction is truly sublime.
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