thu 13/12/2018

Lieder

Gerald Finley, Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall review - sublimity in 18 serious songs

Earth stood hard as iron in parts of this awe-inspiring recital from a true song partnership, but theirs was an autumnal odyssey, not a winter journey. For all their preoccupation with death and occasionally desolation, neither Schubert at 31, in...

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Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - haunting, brutal Schubert

Winterreise brings out the best from Ian Bostridge, and the worst. His dedication to understanding and communicating its complex and harrowing text is everywhere apparent, and this was an emotionally draining evening. But his style of delivery has...

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Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall review - the eternal and ephemeral feminine

When you have 21 women to present in song, but only a couple among the 14 poets and none to represent them out of the 15 composers idolising or giving them a voice, you need two strong defenders of their sex at the helm. Lucy Crowe and Anna Tilbrook...

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Pianist Christopher Glynn on Schubert in English: 'this new translation never walks on stilts'

The idea for a new translation of Schubert's Winterreise came from an old recording. Harry Plunket Greene was nearly 70 (and nearly voiceless) when he entered the studio in 1934 and sang "Der Leiermann," the final song of the cycle, in English (as "...

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Matthias Goerne, Seong-Jin Cho, Wigmore Hall review - slow and slower Strauss

Matthias Goerne has an exceptional ability to sustain evenness and legato through a vocal line. His breath control and his tone production are things to be marvelled at. He is able to function at impossibly slow tempi, and to make an audience hold...

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Kaufmann, Damrau, Deutsch, Barbican review - bliss, if only you closed your eyes

Schubert’s winter wanderer had Wilhelm Muller to voice his despair, while Schumann’s poet-in-love had Heinrich Heine. The lovers of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch must make do with only the words of anonymous Italian authors, albeit dressed up...

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Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - sensual heat thaws a winter's evening

Rapture, ecstasy, ardour, and a few cheeky fumbles in the bushes – Louise Alder and James Baillieu’s Wigmore recital promised “Chants d’amour” and delivered amply, giving us love in all its bewildering, technicolour variety. From the heady eroticism...

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Schumann Street, Spitalfields Festival review - illumination on a winter's night

An icy, wet wind snuck under the door of house number 8 in Fournier Street, where Uri Caine, bundled in coat and woolly hat, conjured Schumann’s darkly powerful "Im Rhein". Beside him, perched on a weaver’s stool, was improvising legend Phil Minton...

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Florian Boesch, Justus Zeyen, Wigmore Hall review - power, intimacy and atmosphere

Florian Boesch is a big man. He’s tall, stocky, and with his bald head and stubble could seem more like a gangster than a Lieder singer. His voice is beautiful, but it matches his appearance – big, weighty and imposing. He has subtlety too, though...

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Lise Davidsen, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall

Few young singers make a UK recital debut like Lise Davidsen’s. But then, few singers come to that debut with such a weight of reputation and expectation. Taking not only the First Prize but also the Audience Prize and Birgit Nilsson Awards at 2015’...

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Tara Erraught, Ulrich Pluta, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall

As a scan through the 17-year list of Rosenblatt Recitals quickly reveals, sopranos and tenors come and (often as not) go. Much rarer is the opportunity to enjoy the gifts of a mezzo-soprano near the start of what should, all things being equal, be...

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The Schumann Project, Oxford Lieder Festival

It felt oddly disrespectful showing up in time for Schumann's wake on the fifteenth and final day of this year's Oxford Lieder Festival. Having started with the early piano music and many of the chamber works before moving on to Schumann's annus...

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