John Axelrod has recorded unique Brahms symphonies + Clara Schumann Lieder cycle, exploring the symphonies as four sides of the woman with whom Brahms was obsessed. In a fascinating new concept, John Axelrod (2012 ICMA Award winner and winner of the ResMusica Best Classical CD of 2012 ) is to spearhead a exploration of the relationship between Brahms and the woman he loved, Clara Schumann, as depicted in their music. If you listen to the Brahms symphonies, says Axelrod, each of them seems to inhabit a completely different, though connected, character. Then, if you listen to the songs of Clara Schumann, they also fall clearly into a very similar four moods. I believe that Clara s own personality is in those songs, and so if that is true, it is also possible to think of the four Brahms symphonies as portraits of Clara four different aspects of her.
To explore this idea, this double CD will for the first time - pair a Brahms symphony with its matching set of Clara s Lieder. And to illustrate it further, there will be four different world-class singers as Clara, each a different voice-type - a fitting project to start in 2013, the 180th anniversary year of Brahms s birth. This CD of Symphonies 2 & 4 will feature renowned sopranos Nicole Cabell and Indra Thomas singing the songs of Clara Schumann. As an American conductor, Axelrod believes strongly too in the universality of Brahms, so has chosen non-Germanic forces. In the symphonies he will conduct the Italian,