Crescendo Magazine reviews Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Schubert cycle in Brussels
“Being able to hear Schubert’s three great cycles of lieder in just four days is already a boon. But to witness the fabulous interpretation given in this early February by Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes is more than a gift – it is a privilege.
“… Although he was a pupil of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Goerne is in no way a copy of it. Rather than by an exceptional voice (even if it is very beautiful), it is above all by his sincerity that he convinces: to listen to him, he does not tell the story of the unfortunate loves of the miller, he saw it. And this impression is further enhanced by the way he stands on stage, a thousand leagues away from the reserved or even compassed style of certain singers who feel that it is up to the voice to express everything in the melody. In him, not only is the physical effort of the song visible, but the whole body participates in the expression … without it ever appearing mannerized or excessive …
“One can understand that collaborating with such a talent tempts the greatest soloists, and in the rich piano parts of Schubert, Andsnes showed himself from one end to the other of the three truly admirable evenings. The mix of depth and sobriety of the Norwegian pianist is a marvel, and the way he draws the unusually dark colors of the Steinway Palace of Fine Arts is just as much.
“The second evening of the trilogy was undoubtedly the most beautiful, the singer presenting himself with difficulty in possession of his vocal means, not to mention his impeccable diction, and with a perfect Andsnes companion in a winter journey that came out of The ordinary by an unusually vehement approach (but never to the detriment of the line of singing), even at certain expressively expressionistic moments, as in Erstarrung’s phrase “Main Herz est wie erstorben” Of unhappy love. In fact, Goerne is not a narrator who tells the story of an unhappy love, but is the torn, shattering, and sometimes bitter victim (as in the end of Frühlingstraum). It is a magnificent and overwhelming version of this masterpiece …
“For the last evening, considering also the relative brevity of the Schwanengesang, Andsnes opened the concert with a very fine rendition of the Three Klavierstücke, D. 946 where, in Allegretto in E flat major, he showed a moving simplicity and a touching purity of the song to which he gave gentle airs of nostalgia in beautiful sounds remarkably worked. The remarks made for the first two cycles are, of course, equally valid for this posthumous Swan Song. The famous Ständchen did not have anything sweet or sentimental here, and the songs on Heine’s texts were rendered with extraordinarily sadness and weariness, especially Der Doppelgänger that Annesnes ended with conclusive agreements as disembodied …”
Source: Crescendo Magazine