Lucy Crowe & Anna Tilbrook - Longing. Lieder by Strauss, Berg, Schoenberg - All Music
Soprano Lucy Crowe and pianist Anna Tilbrook have performed together frequently, so it's a bit surprising that this is their first recording. Tilbrook has a wonderful way with Crowe's just slightly mourning tone, hanging back in her phrasing and giving Crowe room to breathe. The partnership shows, on the evidence of this single release, every sign of developing into a highly fruitful one. The Crowe-Tilbrook pair is ideal in the Sieben frühe Lieder ("Seven Early Songs") of Alban Berg, where murky chromaticism and unfathomed psychological depths are added to the Straussian song language. Songs from the beginning and end of Strauss' career are also on offer, and if Crowe's performance of the Four Last Songs emphasizes a certain melancholy rather than their transcendent side, the songs of Strauss' early twenties are mostly highly affecting. There are early Schoenberg songs, quite different in effect from the Berg, and the result is a strong, highly cohesive song recital from a major contemporary soprano, reflecting a sense of singer-accompanist collaboration that is rare in the present day.