"Aquilon" in Circé
Boston Early Music Festival, 2024
Schumann album for
Avie records is celebrated in reviews
Recorded for Avie records in London, this historically-informed album is the first to capture Zivian and Stegall's collaboration on a Viennese fortepiano built the same year as the songs' composition.
"Stegall is a passionate and engaged communicator as is evinced by the fact that he furnishes the booklet with his own direct and lucid translations. There is nothing in the performances that isn’t done with care and intelligence, and the pair strike me as especially persuasive in the carefully chosen Clara Schumann songs. ‘Lorelei’ builds up the tension excitingly, ‘Mein Stern’ is tender and lyrical, ‘Liebst du um Schönheit’ gently wistful. With fresh, engaging accounts of Robert’s two cycles, too, as well as impeccable engineering, there’s a great deal to enjoy in this release."
"Stegall shows that Clara Schumann covers the entire spectrum of the romantic song. For example, every encounter here with her songs makes one realize that she should not be thought inferior to male colleagues and contemporaries. This CD is a perfect example of how you can be positively surprised by the discovery of musicians who are not (yet) among your favorites. Of course guided by a repertoire that a song lover never gets tired of."
"The performances themselves exceed all expectations. These are beautifully considered interpretations informed not just by deep stylistic awareness and understanding of period practice, but also by a profound and hugely affecting musicality. Stegall and Zivian deliver a performance of quite exceptional range and distinctiveness, fully engaged with the fluctuating mood of the individual songs.
An added bonus, too, are the excellent English translations by Kyle Stegall himself, clearly a musician of exceptional ability and intelligence. It’s a rare treat to hear this music so stylishly performed, so free from mannerisms and yet so completely absorbing, a meeting of minds and techniques between singer and pianist. For lovers of art song, this is just about as good as it gets."
"Combining Stegall's dulcet tone and impassioned expression together with Eric Zivian's original 1841 Rausch fortepiano from Vienna - built exactly when the songs were written - means that what the listener gets to hear is something not only memorable, but atmospherically perfect.
Trust me when I say that between the two of them, Stegall and Zivian combine majestically to bring forth some truly inspired and highly illuminating interpretations here on Myrtle & Rose.
This simply magnificent and era-provoking work of musical art celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Clara Schumann and as a unique bonus there is also included Kyle Stegall's new English translations of the sung texts in the booklet."