Friday 21 January 2011

On Thursday we went to a private recital of Mahler lieder. The accompanist was Joseph Middleton who will be accompanying Wolfgang Holzmair in a similar recital at Westminster School on Friday 4th February. On Thursday, mezzo-sopranos Catherine Hopper and Anna Huntley and baritone Richard Latham shared a programme of Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Lieder einters fahrenden Gesellen, 3 songs from the Ruckert Lieder (Liebst du um Schonheit, Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder, Ich bin der Weld abhandenen gekommen), plus 6 solo lieder. The singers shared the Wunderhorn and the single songs between them; inevitably Richard Latham was allocated the more military of the Wunderhorn songs. Anna Huntley give a poignant performance of Lieder einer fahrenden Gesellen and Catherine Hopper was beautifully moving in the Ruckert Songs.

Then last night we were at a recital of an entirely different cast. Juan-Diego Florez at the Royal Festival Hall. Florez managed to fill the hall with audience quite easily, the concert was sold out. But I doubt that the venue is entirely ideal for his voice and would have loved to hear him in somewhere smaller. It was a very old-fashioned recital, with the audience having to work very hard for the 4 encores. I can still remember the old days when Montserrat Caballe used to do recitals a Covent Garden; she made the audience work but could be relied upon for up to 7 of them.

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