COMPOSERS: Franz Schubert
ALBUM TITLE: Schubert
WORKS: Goethe Lieder: Harfenspieler I-III; Erlkönig; Am Flusse; An den Mond; Willkommen und Abschied, etc
PERFORMER: Mauro Peter (tenor), Helmut Deutsch (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: Sony 88875083882
Swiss tenor Mauro Peter, who so impressed as Andres in Zurich Opera’s Wozzeck under Fabio Luisi this year, is not yet 30. A graduate of Helmut Deutsch’s Lieder classes at the Munich Musikochschule, he sings this selection of Schubert’s Goethe settings with keen attention to detail, youthful spontaneity, and an ample, attractive sound that is reminiscent of the fine-grained tone of baritone Olaf Bär. The potential in his voice is immediately felt in the boyish beauty of Ganymed, the heroic turbulence of Rastlose Liebe and Versunken, and the Beethovenian fervour in of ‘O welcher Glut’ in Willkommen und Abschied.
Deutsch’s playing is crisply voiced and textually alert throughout. In the deceptively simple patterns of Der Musensohn, Heidenröslein and Der Fischer, teacher and pupil achieve performances that combine playfulness and sophistication. Moods are set and developed. Gesänge des Harfners, Meeres Stille and An den Mond, in particular, are outstanding. If Peter has a vulnerability, it is at the very top of his voice – a slight unsteadiness in production that flickers in the high drama of Erlkönig but is shrugged off insouciantly elsewhere. These are growing pains. Lieder lovers will be praying that he concentrates on this repertoire for a while longer. Opera lovers will be looking at the list of roles on his CV (Tamino, Ferrando, Don Ottavio, Jaquino) and waiting eagerly to see which he adds next.