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Longing distilled to perfection by Anne Sofie von Otter and Kristian Bezuidenhout – Seen and Heard Worldwide


Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano) & Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) © Richard Termine

United StatesUnited States Varied: Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano). Zankel Corridor, Carnegie Corridor, New York, 9.11.2022. (RP)

Lindblad – ‘Aftonen’; ‘Nattviolen’; ‘Mån tro, jo, jo!’; ‘Vaggvisa’; ‘Bröllopsfärden’
Mozart – Rondo in A minor Okay.511
Schubert – ‘Der Einsame’ D.800; ‘Die Liebe hat gelogen’ D.751; ‘Der Geistertanz’ D.116; ‘Der Tod und das Mädchen’ D.531; ‘Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt’ D.877 No.4; ‘Heiss mich nicht reden’ D. 877 No.2; ‘So lasst mich scheinen’ D.877 No.3; ‘Der Vollmond strahlt auf Bergeshöhn’ D.797 No.3; ‘An den Mond’ D.193; ‘Nachtstück’ D.672; ‘Die Taubenpost’ D.965a; Allegretto quasi andantino from Piano Sonata in A minor D.537; Andante from Piano Sonata in A serious D.664

Anne Sofie von Otter returned to New York for a recital with Kristian Bezuidenhout on the fortepiano at Zankel Corridor. Over her lengthy profession, Von Otter has embraced every part from opera to rock. For this live performance, she sang songs by Franz Schubert and the Swedish composer Adolf Fredrik Lindblad, generally known as the ‘Swedish Schubert’.

The passage of time has left von Otter with a voice that’s nonetheless lovely however restricted in vary and quantity. Her communicative powers, nonetheless, are absolutely intact. The years have likewise not diminished both von Otter’s estimable musicianship or her means to maintain a musical line. By mustering these sources, the Swedish mezzo-soprano drew the viewers into the intimate drama of every track on this system.

Von Otter made a sensible option to collaborate with Bezuidenhout for this live performance. The instrument which he performed was a six-and-one-half-octave fortepiano constructed by Rodney J. Regnier and modeled after devices by Viennese craftsmen Conrad Graf and Ignaz Bösendorfer. Its silvery sound complemented von Otter’s mezzo-soprano, as did the crispness and readability of Bezuidenhout’s taking part in. This was a recital of delicate however deep pleasures, to which each artists contributed equally.

Von Otter programmed songs that had been largely bittersweet in temper, which she signaled from the primary one, Schubert’s ‘Der Einsame’. Despite the jaunty, rippling accompaniment, it’s nonetheless a track a couple of solitary existence brightened solely by a cricket’s chirping. Two songs by Lindblad, ‘Aftonen’ and ‘Vaggvisa’, had been additionally lighter in temper as a result of heat with which von Otter sang them.

The singer’s narrative expertise had been greatest displayed in Schubert’s ‘Der Tod und das Mädchen’ and ‘An den Mond’. Within the former, Von Otter successfully replicated the worry within the younger woman’s coronary heart, but it surely was her chilling impersonation of Loss of life that gripped the viewers with suspense and in the end terror. Within the latter, a track of unrequited love, the pensive temper was lightened by the crystalline delicacy of von Otter’s voice and the style by which she caressed a musical phrase.

Schubert’s ‘Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt’ revealed von Otter’s means to recast even probably the most acquainted of songs. She expressed the longing that overcomes a younger man when aside from his beloved, not solely with deep understanding but additionally the slightest contact of irony. It was if she had been saying that is certainly one of life’s pleasures, not sorrows.

Within the remaining track of the recital, Schubert’s ‘Der Taubenpost’, longing was once more the theme. Bezuidenhout’s sprightly accompaniment belied any deep sense of sorrow, nonetheless, as did von Otter’s compassion and smile.

Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) © Richard Termine

Bezuidenhout performed Mozart’s Rondo in A minor and the Allegretto quasi andantino from Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A minor and nicely because the Andante from his Piano Sonata in A serious. The three items steadiness longing and appeal as successfully because the songs that he carried out with von Otter did. These had been spellbinding performances as a result of mixture of Bezuidenhout’s immaculate musicianship and the emotion that he imparted within the music.

For encores, Von Otter and Bezuidenhout carried out songs in a considerably lighter vein, however they had been nonetheless wistful. Von Otter emphasised the humor, or maybe the irony, in Schubert’s ‘Lachen und Weinen’, singing of the fixed temper shifts prompted by being in love.

The second was ‘Attempt to Bear in mind’ from the musical The Fantasticks. Alternating verses in English and Swedish, von Otter distilled the essence of life into sound, whereas gently reminding the viewers of the chilly of December to come back on what was a very balmy November night in New York.

Rick Perdian

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