Schubert - Ladies Only: Love and Lament | Cobra COBRA0052

Schubert - Ladies Only: Love and Lament


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Label: Cobra

Cat No: COBRA0052

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 28th October 2016



It is mere coincidence that during the recording period of ‘Ladies Only’, my eyes fell on a headline in the culture section of the Telegraph on the anniversary (November 19) of Schubert’s death entitled ‘Schubert is needed now more than ever’. I was gratefully touched and impressed by this essay written by philosopher Roger Scruton. The essay fully reflects my motivation to perform this recital of songs together with pianist Marianne Boer.

Scruton pleads that Schubert is a composer whom we should cherish and celebrate every year and every day. ‘We live in a world that is on the run. We run towards huge rewards and we run from huge disasters. Nothing around us stands still; we seek rest but rarely find it. We have lost touch with what matters, which is the poignant sense of being. And that is what Schubert has in abundance. He is the poet of home and the loss of home... Whatever the matter in hand - lovelorn, exultant, reverent, nostalgic, furious, heroic, despairing, religious, erotic, through the range of human feeling- the Schubertian melody captures the thing as it truly is, free from sentimentality and exaggeration and with simplicity and directness that lift us into another and purer world’ (Telegraph November 19th 2015).

The 15 songs collected for this recital ‘Ladies Only’ mark Schubert’s strong empathy for women in poetry. Since uncertainty and emotional fluctuations were often seen as particular female qualities, it is not surprising that poets in the Biedermeier era (1815-1848) used female personae to express their feelings of distress. A second layer in these poems relate to the subordinate - if not suppressed - position of women in society, which during the Napoleonic era improved, but subsequently deteriorated during the Biedermeier period.

– Nienke Oostenrijk

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