Renée Fleming's interpretation of Heidenröslein (D. 257) is so coy, so arch, so smarmy, and so condescendingly smug that you almost wishe it weren't so fabulously well sung. But it is, so what can you do? All the irritation felt for her interpretation turns to admiration of her performance -- and that's the way the whole disc is. Fleming's Im Frühling (D. 882) is so dainty, so mincing, so vain that you want to stop the disc, but then there are her quietly rapturous tone and her gorgeously controlled vibrato. Her Nacht und Träume (D. 827) is so languid, so voluptuous, so decadent that you'll want to leave the room, but the liquescence of her luminous tone pulls you against your will into dumb-struck awe. Her Gretchen am Spinnrade (D. 118) is so completely over the top dramatically, with her operatic "sein kuss" and her mad-scene "ich ihn kussen," that you almost laugh out loud, but Fleming's voice slaps your face with the intensity of her vibrato. Christoph Eschenbach is the most accommodating accompanist Fleming has had: a superb pianist, a superb musician, and a completely willing accomplice.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
Auf dem Wasser zu singen ("Mitten im Schimmer der spiegelnden Wellen"), song for voice & piano, D. 774 (Op. 72)
Die Männer sind méchant ("Du sagtest mir es, Mutter"), refrain song for voice & piano, D. 866/3 (Op. 95/3)