Fritz Wunderlich and Hubert Giesen perform Schumann's Dichterliebe.
"Getting to Know Schumann Again, with Some Favorites"
The New York Times, December 17, 2010
Here's another of those occasional roundups in which the classical-music critics of The New York Times pick their favorite recordings to represent this or that composer: here, Schumann, whose 200th birthday was celebrated this year. (We tackled another bicentennial baby, Chopin, in May.) You'll find my picks on the third page of the feature as it's laid out for the web, but start from the beginning to get the whole picture. As usual, I'm providing direct retail links for the five discs I selected here.
SYMPHONIES NOS. 1-4, OVERTURE, SCHERZO AND FINALE
Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch
(EMI Classics 5 67771 2; two CDs)
Amazon / Amazon MP3 / Ariama / ArkivMusic / ArkivMusic MP3 / iTunes
* In the very short time since this essay was filed, a newer, cheaper and more comprehensive box of Kempff's Deutsche Grammophon Schumann recordings appeared without much fanfare; this one devotes a fifth CD to Schumann's Piano Concerto and Konzertstück in G (a.k.a. Introduction and Allegro appassionato). Amazon stocks it on disc and in MP3 format, the latter being a serious deal at under $20. It's also on iTunes, and other stores will likely have it; no need to hesitate in choosing it.
Fritz Wunderlich, tenor; Hubert Giesen, pianist
(with songs by Beethoven and Schubert; Deutsche Grammophon 449 747-2; CD)
Amazon / Amazon MP3 / Ariama / ArkivMusic / Barnes & Noble / DG Web Shop / iTunes
Finally, you'll find information on the Hyperion box set of Schumann's complete songs I mentioned in my essay here.