EIF 17: Schwanewilms and Martineau Complement Each Other in Morning of Song

26/08/2012

[

 

 

 

 Debussy, Wolf and Richard Strauss: Anne Schwanewilms (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano), Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 25.8.2012 (SRT)

Anne Schwanewilms credit to Javier del Real

The star of Anne Schwanewilms has been on a continual rise recently, and this morning proved that the reputation is justified. The first thing you notice is her stage presence: she has an opera singer’s ability to command a stage and she lives through all of her songs, but she does so more discretely than did Luca Pisaroni last Thursday.

Hers is a very special voice, a remarkably complete soprano. The tone is rich and full, with a beautifully ripe top. In fact, her pearly top notes sometimes seem to give the impression of cresting a wave of ecstasy. I found it a thrilling voice to listen to; sumptuous and opulent with a quality of luxury. The depth of her seemingly symbiotic communication with her accompanist was also lovely to see, often exchanging a wink or a smirk as if to congratulate one another.

Wolf and Strauss fit securely into the core German repertoire with which she is so readily associated, but beginning with Debussy was a welcome surprise. The four songs of his Proses Lyriques are set words written by the composer himself. They’re often painful to read but when sung they conjure up an image of sensuality that is hard to resist, whether the heady decadence of De rêve or De jour or the sprightly excitement of De soir.

Strauss and Wolf are closer to what she does, and featuring ten of Wolf’s Mörike Lieder gave us the full range of the composer’s interaction with this poet, from the joy of nature in Im Frühling and Auf einer Wanderung, though to the desolation of the abandoned servant girl in Das verlassene Mägdelein or the renunciatory stillness of Verborgenheit.

The breathless (or sometimes breathy) excitement to Schwanewilms’ use of the words distinguished her as a true sound painter, using tone and diction to inhabit the world of the songs. This was a well planned, beautifully realised recital from two artists who came together as complementary halves to make a wonderful morning of song.

The Edinburgh International Festival runs until Sunday 2nd September at a range of venues across the city. A selection of performances will be reviewed in these pages. For full details go to www.eif.co.uk

Simon Thompson

Comments

Comments are closed.

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! This Year’s International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival at Buxton and Harrogate __________________________________
  • NEW! Edinburgh Usher Hall 2019-2020 Orchestral Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycles __________________________________
  • NEW! Roman River 2019 Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! Ex Cathedra’s 50th Anniversary Season in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Geneva Grand Théâtre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2019-20 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden __________________________________
  • NEW! Bregenz Festival 17 July – 18 August 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Musikfest Berlin 2019 from 30 August to 19 September __________________________________
  • NEW! 2019 BBC Proms 19 July – 14 September __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera House in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Opera in 2019-2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! ENB in 2019-2020 and Updates on their New London City Island Home __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music and Other Events at the Southbank Centre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Cleveland Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Free Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! Memories of West End Musical Delights __________________________________
  • NEW! CELLIST JOHANNES MOSER IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! CHORUS MASTER STEPHEN DOUGHTY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • REVIEWED! Ron Howard’s Pavarotti in Cinemas 13 July (Preview) and Nationwide (15 July) __________________________________
  • NEW! MULTI-FACETED MUSICIAN JOY LISNEY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet Announces Winners of Emerging Dancer 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR THOMAS SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • CONDUCTOR ÁDÁM FISCHER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH LISETTE OROPESA AS SHE RETURNS TO LA OPERA FOR ORFEO ED EURIDICE __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH ANDREA CARÈ AS HE RETURNS TO COVENT GARDEN AS DON JOSÉ __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month