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Beethoven Songs

Stephan Ganz/Roger Vignoles (Hyperion)

Although consummate in so many genres, Beethoven's standing as a songsmith has always lagged behind the rest of his output. This fine collection shows him to have been more than proficient in lyrical word-setting. The main item is An die ferne Geliebte, the world's first song cycle, though 17 more songs feature, all perfectly sung by the baritone Ganz, with Vignoles providing sensitive accompaniment. HHHH

Schumann Piano Trios

Florestan Trio (Hyperion)

Schumann composed both of his piano trios in 1847, following an intense period of study in contrapuntal technique. These clearly recorded and acutely played readings find plenty of contrast between the mood of the pensive Trio No 1 and the far more ebullient Second Trio, though the pacing is leisurely and could have been more focused. HHH