Liebeslieder-Walzer

I only managed to get to the first half of yesterday’s Ensemble Studio lunchtime concert.  It was Brahm’s Liebeslieder-Walzer Op. 52 performed by Claire de Sévigné, Charlotte Burrage, Andrew Haji and Gordon Bintner with Liz Upchurch and Michael Shannon providing the four handed accompaniment.  I’m not a huge Brahms fan and this was pretty much that late 19th century sentimental stuff I don’t really get; somewhat schmaltzy waltz rhythms setting somewhat schmaltzy texts.  It was well done though.  Haji, in particular, sang with a fine attack and the different voice combinations made interesting contrasts.  I thought the music came off best when the girls sang together and when the guys sang together.  Both pairs have voices quite different in timbre and blended to good effect.  The more complex four voice sections seemed to come a bit unstuck in the RBA.  I’m 99% sure it was the acoustic not the singers but certainly textures got quite muddy at times.  The accompaniment was, unsurprisingly, very good indeed.  Work pressures meant I had to leave before the second half of the programme which featured John Greer’s Liebesleid-Lieder.

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