David E. Levine

Schumann's Dichterliebe

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David E. Levine has a pleasant tenor when he is not pushing it, but he does tend to push in the more ardent songs of Dichterliebe, which unfortunately make up most of the cycle. The result is not terrible; it merely sounds like his voice is not fully mature, or perhaps requires more disciplined training and rigorous coaching to be fully at ease in this repertoire. His strong tone is secure throughout his range, but he is most successful in the songs that lie largely toward the lower end of his range such as "Ich grolle nicht." While his German pronunciation is fine, the fact that it is not his first language is evident in his lack of verbal nuances that come more naturally to native speakers and the very best lieder singers. He is ably accompanied by Hagai Yodan, who plays with sensitivity and supple rubato. The sound is boomy and the performers are poorly miked; they sound distant, yet overpowering. The recording's brightness doesn't flatter either Levine or the sound of the piano.

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