South African soprano Golda Schultz shines a light on five women composers in her satisfying new release, This Be Her Verse. Beginning with the Romantics Emilie Mayer and Clara Schumann, through to mid-century luminaries Nadia Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke, and up until the present day with the inclusion of fellow South-African composer Kathleen Tagg, there is much to discover and cherish here.
In the introduction to the album’s liner notes, Schultz recounts how the idea for the album came about when she was rehearsing Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade with American pianist Jonathan Ware (who also partners her here). The song, a staple of the Lieder repertoire, takes its words from Goethe’s Faust and portrays the frenzied mental state of a young girl experiencing the joys and agonies of first love. Despite the song’s pedigree, Schultz wondered whether the female perspective at the heart of the song would be sharper, truer, if the music or words were penned by a woman instead.
This Be Her Verse