Two of the world’s most sought-after opera singers giving Lieder recitals on the same night. The kind of painful choice which Viennese musical institutions and their chaotic schedules throw up all too regularly. I went for Nina Stemme over Jonas Kaufmann on the basis that she gives fewer solo recitals, despite harbouring reservations about how her big voice would fare in this repertoire. Her long, expressive phrases and perceptive grasp of musical line dispelled many of those doubts, but the size of her instrument – Stemme made her name with big Wagner and Strauss roles – overwhelmed a few items on the programme.
A slightly mixed reaction to Nina Stemme at the Konzerthaus last night, but unless Matti Hirvonen were accompanying I’d gladly hear another Lieder recital from her. The image represents the voice she was in more or less all evening. You’d think Weill’s Johnny would know better than to mess with a girl like that. The Dudley Moore parody I mention in my review, which you can read in full here, is highly amusing and embedded along with ‘Little Miss Britten’ below.
Image credit: Cory Weaver