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Twin Spirits / Sting, Keenlyside, Styler, Evans, Krylov, Clein, Burnside [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Works
>Schumann, Clara Wieck : Works
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

'Twin Spirits' is a unique and intimate, live theatrical performance by a chamber ensemble of actors, singers and musicians, portraying the deep and ultimately tragic love between the composer Robert Schumann and his pianist wife Clara Wieck. In this intensely moving performance of words, song and music, the Schumanns' long separation, so formative an influence on their lives, is reflected in the division of the ensemble into male and female groups. Robert's letters to Clara are read by Sting and his songs sung by Simon Keenlyside, with accompaniments and instrumental music played by Iain Burnside and Sergej Krylov. Clara's letters to Robert are read by Trudie Styler and her songs sung by Rebecca Evans, with accompaniments and instrumental music played by Natalie Clein and Natasha Paremski.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 206 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9 anamorphic, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS 5.0 Surround
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian


Rwin Spirits
"Twin Spirits" is an overview of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck's relationship, as revealed in their correspondence. Musical interludes punctuate selected letters that they wrote to each other, some of which were tender and intimate, while others bordered on the tempestuous. The actors Sting and Trudie Styler portray Robert and Clara, respectively, in spoken dialog, which is interspersed with musical excerpts. Songs are sung by baritone Simon Keenlyside and soprano Rebecca Evans; the instrumentalists are Sergej Krylov, Iain Burnside, Natalie Clein, and Nataska Paremski. The soloists, both vocal and instrumental, all perform superbly. Narrator Derek Jacobi helps to support the story line when needed. Overall, I enjoyed listening to some of the letters and learning about the Schumanns' intense relationship. The letters, some of them highly romantic, certainly added to my enjoyment of the music, which is lovely. The actors do their best, with gestures and facial expressions, to dramatize a loving relationship, but sometimes it was hard for me to sustain involvement in the program. After about one hour, I found it difficult to maintain interest in what seemed to be an overly long program. Perhaps it is hard for "modern day" individuals to enter easily into the romantic spirit of the era of the Schumanns.
Submitted on 10/18/09 by Ted Wilks 
Intimate and Artful
John Caird’s “Twin Spirits” is a beautiful collaboration between musicians, singers, and actors. I was hooked from beginning to end. Sting and Trudie Styler do a wonderful job of portraying Robert and Clara Schumann in words from the fun and flirty beginnings of their relationship to the bitter end. Singers Simon Keenlyside and Rebecca Evans as well as the other musicians truly bring the Schumanns’ music to life. From a technical standpoint, I was really impressed with their thoughtful approaches to each piece. One of the most moving phrases I heard from Clara Schumann was in a letter she wrote: “What could be more beautiful than to clothe oneself in sound?” It really spoke to my soul. Where words didn’t move me, the music did. I really felt like I was being let in on something very private and personal. By the end I was teary-eyed and completely enveloped by the Schumanns’ story.
Submitted on 11/11/09 by E. Apuzzo 
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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Works
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Natalie Clein (Cello); Derek Jacobi (Spoken Vocals); Simon Keenlyside (Tenor); Sergej Krylov (Violin); Natasha Paremski (Piano); Sting (Spoken Vocals)
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Schumann, Clara Wieck : Works
  • Performers: Rebecca Evans (Soprano); Trudie Styler (Spoken Vocals)
  • Period Time: Romantic