top of page

The Schumann 

Song Book

Release Date: 8.12.2017


Lia Pale – vocals, flute

Ingrid Oberkanins – percussion

Hans Strasser – bass

mathias rüegg – piano, melodica




Roman Jánoška (viol), Stanislav Palúch (viol) & Mario Rom (trpt)


Compositions by Robert Schumann

Arrangements by mathias rüegg

Poems by Justinus Kerner, Heinrich Heine,  Nikolaus Lenau, Friedrich Rückert, Wilfried von der Neun, Adelbert von Chamisso, Hans Christian Andersen, Joseph von Eichendorff;


About the Album “The Schumann Song Book”

From more than 300 “Lieder” by Robert Schumann  Lia  Pale and mathias  rüegg have put together their own cycle of songs, in which known songs such as „Mondnacht“, „Erstes  Grün“ or „Ich  grolle  nicht“ contrast with rather unknown ones such as „Herbstlied“, „O  Freund, mein  Schirm,  mein  Schutz“ or „Es  stürmet  am  Abendhimmel“. After Schubert’s “Winterreise”, released as “A Winter’s Journey” in April of this year, this is the second album in which Pale & rüegg deal with the adaptation of romantic songs. In contrast to the adaptations of the “Winterreise” song-cycle, parts of the respective original version appear in every English adaptation, each time woven together in a different way. Besides the conversion of the original which is as precise as possible –  melody and form remain untouched and the harmonization always orientates itself on the original – something completely new still comes into being at the same time – due to highly altered rhythmics and phrasing – and transforms Schumann's songs into an entirely different world. It therefore completely depends on the perspective from which one hears or sees the whole.

Selection - Concert reviews/Press reports

Through Dream Gardens of Romanticism

mathias rüegg and Lia Pale about their Schumann project

Not far from Schönlaterngasse 7 where in a romantically faraway time Robert Schumann lived for one year (1838) and even wrote tender letters to his Clara, a duet dedicates itself in the club Porgy & Bess to the songs of the composer. Delicately assisted by trumpet player Mario Rom, percussionist Ingrid Oberkanins and bassist Hans Strasser, singer Lia Pale realizes what mathias rüegg (on piano) has gathered from the miniatures of the German composer. After the splendid adaptation of Schubert's “Lieder” this is another attempt to bring classical material close to the swinging present – the project is basically rooted in a jazzy tradition which draws it inspiration from dealing with ideas from other worlds of style: „Jazz can be viewed as a sponge which absorbs everything into itself. It is obvious to add the classical period to that“.

Rüegg, having been associated with the Vienna Art Orchestra project for what seems like an eternity, has already adapted Satie, Strauss and Poulenc. Lately, with Lia Pale, he combed through „about 300 Schumann songs“ – Pale says about the (also emotional) selection: „Sometimes I’ve fallen in love so much with two bars or with one single phrase that this was reason enough to want to sing the whole song“. For rüegg „the pattern of the notes and the length of the songs played a big role regarding the selection“. Yet he took many decisions "intuitively, as the possibilities for adaptation stood in the foreground“.

The difference with the Franzl-songs? „In contrast to Schubert's introductions, with Schumann it’s the endings which are eye-catching and at times are pushing the doors wide open far into the 20th century”. Besides the conversion of the original, as precise “as possible” – melody and form remain, though enriched by solo parts – a new element comes into play this time“. In every piece a part of the original version appears "somewhere", but each time assembled in a different way …. One could see it as a picture puzzle“. At the Porgy the project finds vigorous ease in “Zornig”, discreet fire is kindled by “O Freund, mein Schirm, mein Schutz“. And Pale reaches emotional depth particularly in “Ich hab im Traum geweinet” … Pale’s delicate voice, with this certain something …

Der Standard, Ljubisa Tosic – 04.11.2016

Schumann's Songs in the Sound of the present Age

The singer from Upper Austria with the many-faceted and style-covering voice and her congenial comrade-in-arms at the piano, the former founder and leader of the legendary Vienna Art Orchestra, are going, as it were, on a journey through time with the selected songs. They extend their classical sound, mix them with elements of other music forms – for instance with those from jazz and pop – translate their lyrics into English and remain in style and melody still very close to the originals. Lia Pale and mathias rüegg let Robert Schumann's songs arrive in the present, in a highly imaginative way, with great love for detail, a timeless elegant sound and above all with a very personal and soulful touch.

Mica, Michael Ternai – 28.10.2016

Lia Pale feat. mathias rüegg - The Schumann Song Book

When Ex-Vienna Art Orchestra boss mathias rüegg deals with a classical composer, no cheap ingratiation comes out of it, but a new way to read his songs from the era of romanticism – utterly in the 21st century! Now, “enchanting” is not really an adjective which is used for jazz. With Viennese singer Lia Pale though, it is appropriate. To experience Lia Pale on stage is simply "enchanting"! She is an outstanding and versatile singer and a very good flautist; above all however, thanks to her striking charm she has the audience instantly on her side. And the band with musical director mathias rüegg on piano and the stunning trumpet player Mario Rom does its act!

SRF, Beat Blaser – 20.1.2017

"This is a somewhat different “Lieder” recital, when Lia Pale and mathias rüegg work out singular „songs“ from the repertoire of classical song. In this case it’s about Robert Schumann’s songs and the outcome is refreshingly light and incredibly virtuosic, not the least because of the sensational playing of violin magician Roman Janoska. 

An absolute listening must!"

Thomas Gansch, Musician – October 2017

Of foreign Countries and People

A fairy tale for Lia Pale by Julian Prégardien, Tenor, Opera- and “Lied” singer

October, 2017

Once upon a time there was a prince who sang songs with utmost pleasure. He let a piano play with his singing. The songs accompanied him already his whole life, for the king too loved their songs. They read and sang the songs from notated signs, dear to them, for these signs had been written down by great masters.


One day the prince received from a messenger news about a foreign country in which a princess lived who would also sing songs. She sang his songs in a foreign language and had friends gathered around her. Other princes got frightened by the news and became angry. But the prince got curious and listened secretly to the foreign sounds of the foreign people. They sounded pretty – and they touched him. The prince recognized that these people too knew and loved the signs of the masters, and he had the desire to reach out to the princess and her friends and to thank them that they revered his songs as much as he did.

And in a faraway country the masters without property are sitting together: "His songs?" one is asking with a smile the others – and everybody rejoices over the fact that old, glowing signs find readers, interpreters and eavesdroppers.

bottom of page