reviews Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Schubert cycle in Paris

“… Would this be the most accomplished journey that Matthias Goerne gave in Paris? All the evidence led you to think so: the complete concentration, the artistic intransigence and with the most complicit of accompanists – Andsnes!
With Goerne, the Winterreise is lived in the first person. Before even hearing  his voice, the traveler already exists in his eyes. As soon as he enters the stage one feels him re-examining the text; And at each step its as if he wipes the fallen flakes on his face, twisting his hands. But where others hibernate internally (in the music) Goerne reaches a power of communication and penetration of the text which is quite extraordinary. On stage, it is the eruption, permanent immolation (in intensity, not volume); When an interpreter throws himself to that degree in the furnace of the work to live, the miracle takes place spontaneously. Who else, among our great Schubertian pianists, would have avoided all sentimentality on the one hand, and any excessive characterization on the other  in favor of music? With Leif Ove Andsnes, the slightest note carries its full weight of pure music ..  Almost everywhere his piano playing blends directly with the voice: sometimes as a protest (in Der stürmische Morgen, 18, before being tamed by the singer), sometimes as if it were stuck to the epidermis of the voice (Die Krähe, 15). Technical comfort is unparalleled, Andsnes keeps his foot in the stirrup in Rückblick (8) while lending himself to changes in mood with unprecedented flexibility. Finally, let us praise the particularly successful trilogies of Im Dorfe (17), which are undoubtedly best rendered by a clear affirmative line …
… What a lesson of truth Goerne and Andsnes have drawn for us from this Winterreise! And that, without ever letting themselves be seduced by the beauties they created there. Here is a performance that relativized any notion of style as the emotion seemed to come naturally from text and music.”