COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Fauré & Strauss,Liszt,Ravel,Schubert
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: of Ladies and Love
PERFORMER: Michael Schade (tenor); Malcolm Martineau (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67315
The German-Canadian tenor Michael Schade, elegant Mozartian and darling of the Vienna State Opera, made a sneak appearance on the final volume of the Hyperion Schubert Edition in ‘Auf dem Strom’. He now presents a favourite recital programme as his first solo disc, visiting the repertoire from Beethoven to Ravel with the calling cards of those much-hymned women, Adelaide, Laura, Cecilia and Silvia. Beethoven’s ‘Adelaide’ reveals at once Schade’s sweet, fragrant head voice, to which Malcolm Martineau’s pearly piano-playing is so minutely attuned. And, in sad address to Schubert’s ‘Elisa’, he creates a barely breathed crescendo of plaintive ardour which makes a masterpiece out of a prentice work. Schade is in no less convincing Italianate rhetorical mode for Liszt’s Laura; and Martineau relishes the solo pianism within the Petrarch Sonnets. Ravel’s Cinq mélodies populaires grècques is sung in pungent and penetrating French, with voice and piano fine-tuned to create still moments out of time. Schade’s instinctive and idiomatic response to the Gallic muse gives fresh impetus and light-filled energy to Fauré’s ‘Nell’ and ‘Lydia’; while he sings Strauss’s ‘Cäcilie’, and a wonderfully hushed ‘Zueignung’ as though he and Martineau were the first to discover their ecstasy.