Berg; Schubert; Wolf

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COMPOSERS: Berg; Schubert; Wolf
LABELS: Onyx
ALBUM TITLE: Berg; Schubert; Wolf: Lieder
WORKS: 4 Lieder, Op. 2
PERFORMER: Christianne Stotijn (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Breinl (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 4009
Here’s something special: a riveting solo debut recital from the young Dutch mezzo Christianne Stotijn, a BBC New Generation Artist who will be making her live UK debut performances throughout this season and next. Stotijn’s choice of programme for this calling-card of a recital shows that easy options are not for her. Her theme of ‘Fantasies and Dream Figures’ goes right to the heart of the German Romantic experience – and her larger-than-life imagination inhabits it thrillingly.

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A gust of wind blows this recital in, and blows it out: Stotijn and her robustly proactive accompanist Joseph Breinl start with the raging storms of Schubert’s ‘Im Walde’, and end with Wolf’s setting of Mörike’s ‘Lied vom Winde’. In the Schubert, in particular, Stotijn achieves a rare fusion: she evokes simultaneously both the physical scene and the inner soul-state, which responds to it. In ‘Der Zwerg’, she lingers fleetingly on the words ‘roter Seide’ – and a shiver goes down the spine as the dwarf ties the red silk cord round the neck of his beloved queen. Stotijn’s voice knows many disguises, both here and in the ‘Erlkönig’ and for Berg’s Vier Lieder, Op. 2, she veils her mezzo in the hypnosis and the ecstasy of sleep – only to wake to vivid verbal life and story-telling in her six Mörike-Lieder. Hilary Finch