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. The Op. 39 Liederkreis rejoices in the lyrical simplicity of Joseph von Eichendorff’s poetic miniatures, and was written in the wake of one of the most blissful times of the composer’s life, during his courtship of his future wife, Clara Wieck. Schumann’s collection of nine songs from Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meister are rarely heard as a complete set, as they are here. By the time Schumann wrote the Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart, only three years after the Wilhelm Meister songs, he had started to slide into insanity brought on by the syphilis to which he finally succumbed. The Three Duets that close the program act as a post-script, neatly encapsulating the Schumann who defined the Lied as an art form.