Spain Klaus Florian Vogt, Jobst Schneiderat (piano), Iglesia del Carmen, Festival Castell Peralada, 31.7.2015 (JMI)
There’s no doubt that the Festival Castell Peralada is one of the most important summer festivals in Spain, and it always offers a varied and interesting program. This year there is a very appealing Verdi Otello with an excellent cast, as well as a series of concerts and recitals by significant artists. Juan Diego Florez will offer a concert in the always attractive Peralada Castle, and Diana Damrau, Max Emmanuel Cencic, Klaus Florian Vogt, and others are giving recitals.
Klaus Florian Vogt is one of today’s great tenors in the German repertoire, but he does not offer perform lieder or even concerts and recitals. His presence, therefore, had raised quite a good deal of interest, and the audience filled the Iglesia del Carmen, where capacity is rather limited. The program offered by the German tenor was much lighter than expected. This was undoubtedly a summer program, with the entire second half dedicated to operetta.
All opera lovers know the peculiarities of Klaus Florian Vogt’s voice, which is more whitish than usual in the German repertoire. Nevertheless, he has triumphed in the world of opera through his excellent technique, magnificent voice projection and outstanding acting ability. Many will agree with me that today he is the reference tenor in roles as Walther von Stolzing or Lohengrin.
I discovered in this recital that he is also excellent in operetta, a genre where he began his artistic career. From my point of view — and regardless if operetta can be considered a minor genre — it was in this second half of the recital where Klaus Florian Vogt especially shone. Particularly brilliant were his interpretations of the aria from the operetta Der Zarewitsch and the famous “Dein ist mein ganze Herz” from The Land of Smiles, both by Franz Lehar. His interpretation of “Mein Wien” from Countess Maritza by Emmerich Kalman was superb as well. He also sang “Oh, Mädchen, mein Mädchen” from the Friedrike and “Immer nur lächelns” (from The Land of Smiles). The only offering out of the operetta world in the second part consisted of two songs by Johannes Brahms.
He began the recital with five fragments from Schubert’s The Schöne Müllerin which served to warm up his voice. A remarkable interpretation of Tamino’s aria from the first act of The Magic Flute came next. He followed with “Winterstürme” from The Valkyrie, where he was not as strong; in fact, this fragment, accompanied by piano, is not particularly exciting. He finished the first half with a very good interpretation of “In Fernem Land” from Lohengrin.
As I mentioned above, Klaus Florian Vogt decided to go for lighter music, and the truth is that the program was neither risky nor very generous. The first part lasted 26 minutes, including applauses between songs. The second part lasted 29 minutes, which also includes applause and a solo piece by his accompanist. A recital where the soloist sings no more than 40 minutes cannot be considered as generous.
There were two encores: a surprising “Maria” from West Side Story, sung rather flat, and the well-known “O Signora, o Signorina” from Lehar’s Giuditta, where he was again very good.
He was efficiently accompanied at the piano by Jobst Schneiderat.
José M. Irurzun