Wonderful music comes alive at Snapeg
Die Schone Mullerin; Gerhaher/Huber; Snape Proms; August 14This song-cycle is so well-known and loved that it is often all too easy to fall in with the easy judgements of the work and simply bathe in its melodic and lyrical invention.
Die Schone Mullerin; Gerhaher/Huber; Snape Proms; August 14
This song-cycle is so well-known and loved that it is often all too easy to fall in with the easy judgements of the work and simply bathe in its melodic and lyrical invention. Nothing wrong with that but as Richard Stokes reminded us in his well-constructed pre-concert talk the grim reality behind this masterpiece of youthful passion was of the composer already in the grip of ultimately fatal syphilis and completely missing out on the warm, fulfilling relationship he so deeply craved.
Stoke's analysis of some of the songs was an object lesson in scholarship, lightly worn.
Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber have won deserved plaudits for their performances and recordings and for just over an hour the Maltings became a place of running streams, flowers, tears, meditations on the colour green and, of course, the enduring agonies of love.
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Gerhaher's voice has everything required for this work - he sounds youthful - along with an athletic spring which makes light of large intervals and was strikingly effective in Am Feierabend and Ungeduld. Huber was technically superb and took the rapid triplets of Die bose Farbe completely in his stride.
It is sometimes commented that whereas in Winterreise every song is a masterpiece the same cannot be said of Die Schone. There may be something in this but the majority of them are of the highest quality. Both soloists found a heartfelt yearning in Der Neugiergie, the wonderful chordal accompaniment to the recit passage like a setting summer sun. The warm glow of A flat in the predominant B flat of Pause and the solace of a move to the major in the repetitive anguish of Die liebe Farbe were executed with impeccable artistry. And the undulating horn calls of the final song are with me still.
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Wonderful interpretations of some wonderful music.