Forum Opera reviews Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Schubert cycle in Paris
“To open the evening, Matthias Goerne fades behind his playing partner, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes … The Drei Klavierstücke that he gives us are the work of an architect. The shape appears evident and clear to us, and the often economical pedal playing emphasizes the balanced power of this music …
“It is after the intermission that we find our miraculous baritone, who seems a little less in shape than the other days. The treble is often in head voice and therefore much thinner than the rest of the tessitura … Fortunately, the pieces with more body remind us of the racy Matthias Goerne as we know him. As soon as we arrive at “Kriegers Ahnung”, which is much more narrative in construction, things are already changing. The inhuman atmosphere of “In der Ferne” suits him as well, a piece for which singer and pianist admirably retain the attention of the public. The “Der Abschied” leaping farewell offers us a last ray of optimism before the second part dedicated to Heine. “Der Atlas” gives the singer the look of Prometheus, making the Theater des Champs-Elysees tremble like never before in these three evenings (the Wagnerian Dutchman suddenly popped up).
“The enigmatic “Die Stadt” shows all Schubert’s talent to make a simple musical element an event in its own right. Almost the whole room is built on a diminished seventh, but the talent of Leif Ove Andsnes shows us to what extent this one may seem to us ghostly. “Am Meer” has an equally committed presence, but it is above all “Der Doppelgänger” that pushes us to the edge of the precipice. While the pianist is counting the steps one by one, the baritone’s scenery is terrifying, and this “violence of pain” (Amfortas?) Is felt throughout the room. The public, still stunned by the efforts deployed loses to some the possibility of applauding. Before we leave, the two interpreters deliver a delicate “Taubenpost” to us, thus completing their Schubertian project for good.”
Source: Forum Opera