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Dorothea Röschmann brings a really particular sense of construction and drama to her Oxford Lieder recital – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United Kingdom Oxford Lieder Competition 2022 [9] – Brahms, Schumann: Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Jeeyoung Lim (bass-baritone) Malcolm Martineau and Elenora Pertz (pianists). St John the Evangelist Church, Oxford, 27.10.2022. (CR)

Schumann – Sechs Gedichte und Requiem, Op.90; Liederkreis, Op.39

Brahms Alte Liebe, Op.72 No.1; Auf dem Kirchhofe, Op.105 No.4; Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op.96 No.1; Unbewegte laue Luft, Op.57 No.8; Liebestreu, Op.3 No.1; Junge Lieder I: Meine Liebe ist grün, Op.63 No.5; Wir wandelten, wir zwei zusammen, Op.96 No.2; Nachtigall, Op.97 No.1; Von ewiger Liebe, Op.43 No.1

Coming the day after Christoph Prégardien’s look on the Oxford Lieder Competition (assessment right here), Dorothea Röschmann’s recital made for an instructive comparability in broadly comparable German Romantic repertoire – in reality, really together with two songs by Brahms which Prégardien had additionally programmed. Röschmann’s strategy was marked by a a lot larger extroversion, somewhat than remaining inside a extra intensely focussed ambit. Vocal traces have been projected with steely power, broad open vowels, and beneficiant vibrato typically on the peaks of phrases, which regularly due to this fact outlined a really particular sense of construction and drama. Within the case of the well-known ‘Mondnacht’ from Schumann’s Liederkreis, nonetheless, that vibrato in every repetition of the principal phrase disturbed the music’s chic rapture by means of too frequent use.

That extra dramatic projection maybe labored higher within the collection of Brahms songs, in evoking the excitability and rapture expressed in ‘Unbewegte laue Luft’ or ‘Meine Liebe is grün’ for instance. Highly effective thrives from Malcolm Martineau on the piano on the outset of ‘Am dem Kirchhofe’ incited Röschmann to a way more vociferous account of this tune which Prégardien had included the night time earlier than, as additionally in ‘Von ewiger Liebe’, encountered beforehand too.

The primary Brahms tune carried out right here, ‘Alte Liebe’, was extra privately and sweetly sung, over the piano’s shifts from main to minor which Martineau made to sound resonant and purposeful, carrying over one thing of the deeper vein of introversion and ambiguity within the previous cycle by Schumann, setting verses by Joseph von Eichendorff. Energetic characterisation and dramatic stress have been effectively captured in that, as an example Röschmann’s darkly colored opening for ‘Waldesgespräch’ hinting on the speaker’s destiny by the hands of Lorelei, or the mischievous wit of ‘Die Stille’. However in different songs that important Schumannesque high quality of Innigkeit tended to be lacking, even when in any other case she and Martineau admirably sustained a line of pressing continuity from one tune to the subsequent to make them a completely related cycle, somewhat than a sequence of unrelated settings.

Within the live performance’s opening phase for rising younger artists, Jeeyoung Lim gave an assured account of Schumann’s Sechs Gedichte und Requiem (however omitting for No.4, ‘Die Sennin’, for no apparent motive). Tending to undertaking from deep down within the throat ensured a agency vocal line all through, although with some ethereal transparency, giving these tales a lot narrative immediacy, and the concluding ‘Requiem’ an apt sense of resignation. However extra nuance and selection in tone would have elucidated extra attractive element. Elenora Pertz’s enjoying on the piano was effectively positioned and sympathetic, not intruding upon the incidents that have been conveyed within the vocal melodies.

Curtis Rogers

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