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Brahms’ picaresque romance has an identity crisis: is it a cycle of 15 songs which tells part of the story, or is it an evening of words and music which tells the whole story? The current artists generously resolve the issue by presenting both, squeezing the full version alternating songs with Vignoles’ deft translation of Tieck on the first disc, the song-only version coupled with the Four Serious Songs on the second. Williams is in superb voice, matched by Vignoles’ incisive playing: this is clearly a labour of love for both artists and one which should be rewarded.

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