If there’s a tenor with a sweeter tone than Sydneysider Andrew Goodwin I haven’t heard them. I first encountered him at the 2008 Musica Viva Festival when he was just beginning to make his way. He performed some Mahler but what impressed me most was how at home he was singing Rachmaninov in Russian. He trained in St Petersburg and must have picked up some other eastern European language skills there for he was equally compelling in a recent performance of Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared.
His faultless diction and attention to text is on show in this debut solo album with fellow Australian, pianist Daniel de Borah on the Danish independent label Walkway Records in which the pair show great chemistry in a survey of some of Schumann’s greatest works from the celebrated “year of song”. Liederkreis, settings of 12 poems by Joseph von Eichendorff, Schumann told his new bride Clara Wieck, had “much of my most romantic music ever, with much of you in it”. Goodwin and de Borah’s handling of Mondnacht and Zwielicht would touch the hardest heart, while the tenor’s dramatic skills and ability to inhabit each song come to the fore in the weightier and darker Heine settings of Dichterliebe. The cycle culminates in the remarkable Ich grolle nicht where the narrator dreams of a serpent gnawing at the heart of a lover who has abandoned him.
Four favourite songs separate the two cycles in this beautifully performed and recorded collection, which is currently only available as a download.
Works: Liederkreis, Dichterliebe
Performers: Andrew Goodwin t, Daniel de Borah p
Label: Walkway Records WWC0007 (digital download)