Brilliant Opera Collection: Schumann Genova

Composer Robert Schumann
Artist Rundfunkchor Berlin
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Kurt Masur conductor
Peter Schreier tenor
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau baritone
Edda Moser soprano
Gisela Schröter mezzo soprano
Siegfried Vogel bass
Wolf-Dieter Hauschild chorus master
Siegfried Lorenz Hidilfus
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 95117
EAN code 5028421951171
Release May 2015

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About this release

Set in mythical, medieval Germany, in a Wagnerian world of legends and folklore, Schumann’s only operatic composition is a refined take on the ancient German folktale Genoveva. Taking inspiration from the many authors and playwrights who had portrayed the story throughout the years, including Christoph von Schmid and Friedrich Hebbel, Schumann set out to write a sophisticated recounting of the innocent Genoveva, her husband Siegfried’s wrongful mistrust of her and the cunning Golo who falsely accuses her of adultery. Bouts of self-doubt led Schumann to labour on his project for six years, with another two before the opera was premiered in 1850, to limited success at first. Despite its mixed reception, the opera has been recognised since as containing some of Schumann’s finest orchestral writing, a precursor to Wagner not just in the mythical elements of the plot but also in the deeply textured harmonies and flowing vocal lines.

Adding to its extensive collection of some of the finest available opera recordings, Brilliant Classics is pleased to present this version from 1976, the first recording of this opera ever made and featuring a stellar cast. Soprano Edda Moser takes the title role, with acclaimed baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau playing her suspicious husband and Peter Schreier completing the love triangle as the evil Golo. Genoveva still suffers in comparison to the rest of Schumann’s oeuvre, but thanks to some fine orchestral playing and the "peerless" Fischer-Dieskau (MusicWeb International), this recording can only serve to increase appreciation for Schumann’s only dramatic work.

Schumann’s only opera, Genoveva, is set in medieval Germany, a world of sagas and myths. This is not the only resemblance to Wagner’s operas, as Schumann presents here some of his finest dramatic orchestral writing, clearly paving the way for Wagner’s Teutonic masterpieces.
A stellar cast graces this production from the archives of Berlin Classics, in fact the first recording of this forgotten masterwork: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Edda Moser, Peter Schreier, Siegfried Lorenz and the tremendous Gewandhausorchester Leipzig conducted by Kurt Masur.
A valuable addition to the substantial and much praised Brilliant Classics Opera Collection.

Other information:
• Recorded in 1976 in Leipzig, Germany.
• Sung in German.
• Contains notes on the opera and the composer.
• Full libretto available at

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Genoveva, Op. 81: Overture
  2. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No. 1 (Chorus and Recitative): Erhebet Herz und Hände (Chorus ), Zu einem gottgefäll’gen Kampfe (Hidulfus/Chorus)
  3. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No.2 (Recitative and Aria): Möcht’ ziehn mit ihnen! (Golo), Frieden zieh’ in meine Brust (Golo), Siegfried! Siegfried! (Golo)
  4. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No.3 (Duet): So wenig Monden erst (Siegfried/Genoveva)
  5. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No.4 (Recitative): Dies gilt uns! (Siegfried/Drago/Genoveva/Golo), Meines Weibes nimm dich an (Siegfried/Golo/Genoveva/Chorus)
  6. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No.5 (Chorus): Auf, auf in das Feld! (Chorus/Genoveva/Siegfried/Golo)
  7. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No.6 (Recitative and Scene): Der rauhe Kriegsmann! (Golo), O Lippen, süße Lippen! (Golo/Genoveva)
  8. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 1, No.7 (Finale): Sieh da, welch feiner Rittersmann! (Margaretha), Was hab ich getan (Golo/Margaretha), Du läßt die arme Frau allein (Margaretha/Golo), Mit neuem Leben erfüllst du mich wieder (Golo/Margaretha)
  9. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 2, No.8 (Scene, Chorus and Recitative): O weh des Scheidens, das er tat (Genoveva), Füllet die Becher (Chorus/Genoveva), Ihr seid es, Golo? (Genoveva/Golo)
  10. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 2, No.9 (Duet): Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär’ (Genoveva/Golo), Was ist Euch? (Genoveva/Golo), Das wort, das traf (Golo)
  11. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 2, No.10 (Duet and Scene): Dem Himmel Dank (Drago/Golo), Ich lauscht’ an der Tür (Margaretha/Golo), Dort schleichen über’n Hof sie sacht (Genoveva)
  12. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 2, No.11 (Aria): O du, der über alle wacht (Genoveva)
  13. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 2, No.12 (Finale): Sacht, sacht, aufgemacht! (Chorus/Balthasar/Genoveva), Zurück, ihr Schurken! (Golo/Genoveva/Chorus/Balthasar/Drago), Glaubt, was Ihr seht! (Genoveva/Balthasar/Margaretha/Golo), Führt sie hinunter, bindet sie! (Chorus)

Disk 2

  1. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 3, No.13 (Duet): Nichts hält mich mehr (Siegfried/Margaretha)
  2. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 3, No.14 (Recitative, Lied and Duet): Ja, wart’ du bis zum jüngsten Tag (Siegfried), Bald blick’ ich dich wieder (Siegfried), Wer sprengt so eilig in das Tor herein! (Siegfried/Golo), Doch halt! Es fällt mir ein (Siegfried)
  3. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 3, No.15 (Finale): Ich sah ein Kind im Traum (Margaretha), Ei nun, wer stört sie? (Margaretha/Siegfried/Golo), Erscheint! (1. Bild) (Margaretha/Chorus/Siegfried/Golo), Erscheint! Erscheint! (2. Bild) (Margaretha/Chorus/Siegfried/Golo), Erscheint! Erscheint! Erscheint! (3. Bild) (Margaretha/Chorus/Siegfried/Drago’s Ghost), Furchtbar Gesicht, verschwind! (Margaretha/Ghost), Entsetzen packt mich (Margaretha/Ghost)
  4. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 4, No.16 (Scene, Lied and Aria): Steil und steiler ragen die Felsen (Genoveva/Caspar/Balthasar), Sie hatten beid’ sich herzlich lieb (Caspar/Balthasar), Die letzte Hoffnung schwindet (Genoveva), Ich höre Schritte (Genoveva)
  5. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 4, No.17 (Scene): Kennt Ihr den Ring? (Golo/Genoveva), Ihr Männer, tretet vor! (Golo/Balthasar/Caspar), Habt Ihr noch einen Wunsch (Caspar/Genoveva)
  6. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 4, No.18 (Recitative, Trio and Scene with chorus): Weib, heuchelt nicht (Balthasar/Genoveva), Umsonst versucht mein Mund (Genoveva/Caspar/Balthasar), Sie ist’s, am Kreuze dort! (Chorus/Margaretha/Siegfried/Genoveva)
  7. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 4, No.19( Duet): O laß es ruhn, dein Aug’, auf mir! (Siegfried/Genoveva), Kommt alle mit ins Schloß (Siegfried/Chorus)
  8. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 4, No.20 (Double Chorus): Bestreut den Weg mit grünen Mai’n (Chorus), Nun hebet Herz und Hände (Chorus)
  9. Genoveva, Op. 81, Pt. 4, No.21 (Finale): Seid mir gegrüßt (Hidulfus/Genoveva/Siegfried/Chorus), Erschalle, festlicher Sang (Chorus/Siegfried/Genoveva)