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Thomas Hampson / Twenty Songs

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Citing all these details is, in no way, meant to suggest that the "discovery" of the first version of Schumann's Heine cycle devalues or impugns the significance of the printed Dichterliebe. Each version has its own uniqueness and importance, and the juxtaposition of the two in all their differences can serve as a welcome enrichment of the repertory, just as two versions of works by other composers ­ one thinks of Schubert's songs or Brückner's symphonies ­ have been happily permitted to exist side by side by both scholars and performers. What is absolutely forbidden, however, is to attempt to combine the two versions or to piece together a version of the printed Dichterliebe's sixteen songs with the four cut and posthumously published ones. The integrity of the 20 Lieder version emphatically argues against this! The publication of a critical edition of the first version ­ a project that is already in the planning stages ­ would go a long way to dispelling false notions like these and would be a crucial tool in establishing a universal appreciation anmd understanding of all the ramifications of Schumann's cycle. Toward this ultimate end we, as musicologist and performing artist, have enthusiastically collaborated, following the previously untread path back to its source. Our joint efforts are dedicated entirely to the service of Schumann.

­ Renate Hilmar-Voit & Thomas Hampson, Vienna, c 1993.

Translation by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold, New York, c. 1993

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