Schumann, Robert was a romantic par excellence. His life was nomadic, with longed-for fulfilment always elusively out of reach. For Schumann life, love and creative energy rolled themselves together in an unfolding drama, causing together with his long struggle with syphilis – moments of euphoria amidst constant anxiety and self-doubt. His wife and longest love Clara Wieck, though today a ‘moon in eclipse’, was during their lifetimes very much the celebrity of the pair. The three song cycles in this recital reveal Schumann’s deep sensitivity both to poetry heightened as sung melody, and to the piano, supplying its non-verbal accompaniment. It has always been a delicate balance for any composer: maintaining a piano party that is never banal or formulaic, yet not overwhelming. Schumann’s song-writing supports the voice, or more importantly the poetic gesture, with the native virtuosity of Carnaval or the Dävidsbundlertänze, but turned into the most exquisite commentary beneath the vocal line.