Customer Review

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Robbie goes to Rome, 3 April 2012
This review is from: Schumann: Requiem, Mass, Der Rose Pilgerfahrt (Audio CD)
Drawing upon Plato and St Anselm, if it can be thought of, it must exist. Accordingly, the Oompa Loompas are real and they must require liturgical music in order to glorify their deity. Schumann obligingly stepped up to the plate with his crackpot Mass - a late work.

"Oompa loompa doompadee doo
Gloria in Excelesis Deo
I've got a perfect puzzle for you!"

Whatever made Schumann wander so far from the wellsprings of his genius is beyond me. This setting is foursquare, mechanical and insipid. The composer chugs his way through the texts in a way that brings to mind those diminutive makers of confectionery: loud, soft, loud, soft, loud, soft. Nor does he betray any understanding of the Mass. The only inspired movement is the hushed Sanctus - but we return to the Chocolate Factory with the Pleni Sunt Coeli. I fortified myself with Red Bull to traverse this work.

Clara and Brahms were right to save the Requiem in D Flat from the flames. It is more inspired than the Mass; indeed, the opening Requiem Aeternam is deeply moving as if the Schumann himself is pleading for repose. The closing Benedictus / Agnus Dei brings closure. Even so: if this work were to be submitted by a composition-student, the examiners would say "Not bad at all - and it's impressive in parts." But coming from the composer of Kinderszenen & Davidbundlertanze, it is a letdown.

The Pilgrimage of the Rose is a dense, uninspired thicket that warrants its notoriety. The Requiem for Mignon is the best work here - even so, I would not walk over broken glass to hear it. Fischer-Dieskau marrs the performance with his elocution lesson

These works receive the best possible advocacy here. My god they need it
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