Schubert Lieder: Love’s Lasting Power

Love – from many-splendoured and joyous to tragic and rejected, homo- and heterosexual, light-hearted and broken-hearted, heavenly and earthly, innocent and anything but: in their first joint recording, long-term performing partners Harriet Burns and Ian Tindale make a deeply personal choice of Schubert’s lieder, exploring the theme of love, but also the friendships and relationships between poets and the composer out of which he crafted songs of astonishing empathy.

Former Winners of the Contemporary Song Prize in the International Vocal Competition at ’s-Hertogenbosch, Ian and Harriet bring an outstanding empathy of their own to songs in which we hear, in Ian’s words, ‘young artists being creative together and exploring things’.

"Harriet Burns has a strong yet subtle, clear, expressive, operatic-sounding voice, and Ian Tindale's accompaniment is very sympathetic to the twists and turns of Schubert's narrative in, for example, Viola, setting Franz von Schober. This is the album's longest song, at nearly thirteen minutes, in which, to quote Katy Hamilton's astute and fascinating liner notes, 'a tender flower who is over-eager and subsequently blighted' is 'dying alone and ashamed ... This is a fabulous and unique recital featuring some of Schubert's most popular songs, such as An mein Herz, Lachen und Weinen, Suleika I and Versunken, and exploring many different facets of human love. If, like me, your German is ein bisschen schlecht, then you'll find it useful that the booklet includes all the song texts and English translations ... Harriet Burns and Ian Tindale - definitely two names to watch out for ... "

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"... a striking disc in many ways. The subject is the nature of love and desire, which constitutes a vast theme in Schubert’s songs, barely containable on a single disc, you might think. But the recital perceptively structures familiar and unfamiliar material to encompass both a wide range of mood and a convincing emotional narrative that takes us from calm to anguish and back again ... The performances are for the most part superb. The amplitude of Burns’s voice, with its bright warmth of tone and wonderful gleam at the top, confers a certain grandeur of scale on the proceedings, though her dynamic range is tellingly wide and often deployed with considerable subtlety. The way she moves from the assertively sweeping phrases of ‘Freudvoll und leidvoll’ to the rueful intimacy of ‘Lachen und Weinen’ at the start is particularly beautiful ... [Viola] is finely shaped and you’re repeatedly struck by the intensity both she and Schubert bring to so fragile a narrative ... Her tonal and dynamic range is matched by the expressive breadth of Tindale’s playing. The erratic heartbeats of ‘An mein Herz’, for instance, are powerfully and unashamedly hammered home, while subtle dynamic gradations mean that the elegant turns of ‘Hippolits Lied’, another study in obsession, gradually become increasingly creepy ... There’s little doubt of the strength of this partnership or the excellence of much of their music-making. A very fine disc indeed"

"With a youthful flexibility, emotionalism and sense of urgency to the performances, this is a finely engaging and thoughtful debut recital for the duo ... Burns sings with lovely long, considered lines and the song forms a fine opening showcase for her vibrant, lyric soprano ... There is a lovely vibrancy to her performance of Dass sie hier gewesen with an almost Richard Strauss-like line, supported by Tindale's sensitive piano. The youthful anxiety in Suleika I is finely drawn, along with the suggestions of Gretchen am Spinnrade.   The two performers are adept at suggesting the complexities that lie beneath, so though emotion in Wiedersehn is rather civilised, there is a hint of vulnerability too, whilst the lyric beauty in Heimliches Lieben hides more complex yearning ... drama really comes to the fore in Der Zwerg where Burns' story telling is complemented by the dark drama in Tindale's piano ... The selection of songs here is admirably varied, not just to the top twenty hits, and it perhaps reflects the duo's long experience of performing Schubert together (some eight years, I believe). There is a youthful flexibility, emotionalism and sense of urgency to many of the performances, and overall you feel that the two bring out the interesting colours and darker elements that underpin even the most straightforward of songs"

read his full review here

"There's potent motivation behind a collection of songs neatly packaged by soprano Harriet Burns and pianist Ian Tindale to explore the title theme. Most are short, ranging from the bittersweet, major-minor duality of Lachen und Weinen and soft-scented sighs of Dass Sie Hier Gewesen, to the whirlwind sensuality of Versunken and darkly dramatic Der Zwerg. On a more epic scale, Viola - written in troubled times is a restless torrent of shifting emotions. Burns and Tindale bring soulfulness and fervour to a glowing, inspired programme"

★ ★ ★ ★

Harriet Burns's voice is brilliant and rich, comfortable even in stratospheric heights. She completely inhabits each character or scenario she depicts, her emotional range spanning deepest tragedy to naïve girlishness. Ian Tindale matches her colour, adds layers of expression by teasing out inner voices, and grounds the sound with a rich bass. Katy Hamilton's engaging liner note illuminates the artists' intention to showcase Schubert's 'gentle and compassionate probing of the human condition' ... the album is striking for its dignity and grace, recalling Schubert's Viennese Classical roots as well as his debt to contemporary opera - the robust opening of Erster Verlust is more Greek tragedy than weeping teenager ...Tempos lean towards the stately, revealing new depths even in songs as trivial as Die Männer sind méchant or fragmented song-structures like Lambertine. There are moments of magic, such as the key change in Suleika I, when Burns sings of the thousand kisses she will receive before the hills darken. Burns delivers the opening of Die Liebe hat gelogenlike a Handelian queen;Der Zwerg is likewise characterised by noble pathos; Viola - extremely challenging in its length - unfolds and holds together superbly ...The extremely high standard of musicianship is matched by moving, evocative and thoughtful interpretation"


'there is a great deal to celebrate here ... First impressions are of the sheer beauty of Burns’ voice, which is a full, lyric soprano ... Viola - almost 13 minutes long - is in the nature of a mini-scena, its many changes of attitude signposted by the accompaniment and masterfully managed by Tindale ... The final song is Seligkeit, one of those songs which is often taken much too fast, but for which she and Tindale find the perfect tempo here. Burns is delightful, responding well to its note of blithely carefree happiness. A perfect way to end a highly enjoyable recital. Both soprano and accompanist are clearly ones to watch'



Release Date: 26 January 2023
Catalogue No: DCD34251
Total playing time: 1:08:27

Recorded 8-10 February 2023, St Mary's Haddington

Producer/Engineer: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital editing: Jack Davis
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter

Design: Drew Padrutt
Booklet editor: Henry Howard

Session photography: foxbrushfilms.com
Delphian Records Ltd.


Harriet Burns and Ian Tindale perform Schubert's Seiligkeit 

Harriet Burns and Ian Tindale perform Schubert's Die Liebe 

Album Booklet

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