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Sumi Jo, the acclaimed Korean singer who has won countless awards, most notably the coveted Puccini Prize, recently wrapped up her five-city tour of the country. But those who missed her can take comfort in her new album until they can see her in concert again.

Her interpretations of these German lieder, a word for “songs” that has come to be associated with a genre of romantic music inspired by poetry, are straightforward, not overly dramatic and therefore a pleasure to hear. The lofty elegance of Jo’s warm vocal tones contrasts nicely with the sometimes insistent strains of the string instruments and piano that serve as her accompaniment.

Some the songs will be familiar to listeners ? especially Schubert’s “Die Forelle D550” and Brahms’ “Wiegenlied Op. 49 No. 4,” which in English begins “Lullaby, and good night…”

But my favorite is “Auf Flugeln des Gesanges Op. 34 No. 2” (“On Wings of Song”). Its simple melody is given an unpretentious delivery by the singer, whose next performance in Korea I will be sure to see.

Sumi Jo “Ich Liebe Dich”

Label: Universal Music Ltd. Korea

Genre: Classical, opera

By Jenny Na
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