Winterreise

hqdefaultSchubert’s Winterreise is sometimes described as the Everest of lieder singing and, as such, is something of a rite of passage for baritones.  It’s much rarer to hear it sung by a soprano but today, on a day when there was more snow in Toronto than one encounters these days on the Hillary step, Adrianne Pieczonka, accompanied by Rachel Andrist, offered it up in the intimate Mazzoleni Hall.  It took me two or three songs to get into it.  The colours of the soprano voice are so not baritonal that the music sounded unfamiliar and disconcerting.  By Der Lindenbaum though I was won over.  Here was singing of a limpid beauty few baritones could match and from then on I was revelling in the new perspectives that hearing a soprano sing this music brings.  I think it was greatly helped by Adrianne’s approach which definitely favoured bringing out the drama and the emotion of the text rather than wallowing in beautiful tone.  That was there when she wanted it but there was much else besides.  It was an emotional roller coaster from the (relative) optimism of Die Post through to the devastating last couple of numbers.  By the end of Der Leiermann I was a puddle but possibly not quite as damp and deep as the critic sitting next to me (whatever Twitter might report).  Rachel’s work at the piano was equally illuminating.  This is a show they need to take to a much larger audience.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s