Concertonet reviews Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Schubert cycle in Paris
“A smaller audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (and less coughing) for the last Schubert evening by Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes, which was by far the best of the three.
“In more ways than one, because it allowed the Norwegian pianist to play the Three Piano Pieces, a quasi-sonata, so much so that the developments of each movement are at the level of those of the last sonatas of Schubert. The perfect balance between a full and controlled sound, was especially appreciated in the second piece which was performed with all the repeats – perfectly colored and with an impeccable rhythmic knowledge. A great piano moment, very generously applauded.
“Schwanengesang is a posthumous collection of lieder from the last year of Schubert’s life …  and these songs seemed to be made-to-measure for Matthias Goerne, who essentially possesses a communicative talent in which he can instantly switch to completely opposite moods. Dare to say, for having heard a lot of this baritone, that this evening was by far the best that we have experienced with him in this repertoire. All vocal energy – tempo, interpretation and personality –  were perfectly balanced and he remains today the leading interpreter  … He dragged his audience into the meandering of these mostly tragic lieder and the general fascination was palpable. Once again, the Norwegian pianist played a very poised and compelling accompaniment throughout the performance. Without wishing to make any comparison, I have not heard such an accomplished and overwhelming perfomance of Schwanengesang since a memorable morning with Hermann Prey and Wolfgang Sawallisch in the early eighties at the Munich Festival.”