Yesterday I bought an album on iTunes. It was a special occasion because I’d just bought one of those iTunes gift cards for myself with the first ‘spare’ money I’ve had in a few weeks. The idea was that I would purchase a few different recordings of the songs I’m singing at a recital at the end of November.

My search led me to Akiki Nakijima, an operatic soprano whom I had never heard of. Having listened to a few samples of the album, “La Pastorella,” I decided to buy the whole thing.

You know when you get a new album and you kind of listen to the start of every track, flicking through to see if anything grabs you?

Oh God.

“Romanze Ich Schleiche Bang Und Still Herum.” By Franz Schubert. Track 7.

It is so beautiful that I am having a very hard time believing that I’ve never heard it before. It is incredible. I can’t find it on YouTube and I can’t find a translation on Google. But I can’t stop listening to it. Nakajima’s voice is like a crystal bird. It’s so clear, it soars, it’s light, it flies. It’s beautiful. There’s something so delicately sad about this song, so wistful.

The arrangement of clarinet and piano for the opening is wonderful. The clarinet is played expertly by Peter Schmidl. It is so beautifully negotiated that it sounds like another voice, perhaps the voice of the soprano’s lost love. It echos her and weaves around her, complimenting her but never over-powering her.

I love songs like this. Songs that are so wistful that you can just get completely lost in the feeling without understanding why.

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