Von Ewiger Liebe

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Haydn,R Strauss and Brahms,Schubert,Schumann
LABELS: Berlin
WORKS: Lieder by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, R Strauss and Brahms
PERFORMER: Anja Harteros (soprano), Wolfram Rieger (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 0016512BC

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The most beautiful soprano voice to emerge in the last decade shows us how affectingly she can scale down from Verdi and lighter Wagner. The first thing to say is that Anja Harteros’s programme, test run in recital, works supremely well in terms of musical logic. From Haydn’s little prayer, its introduction telling us what kind of hallowed support to expect from pianist Wolfram Rieger, to Beethoven’s ‘An die Hoffnung’ we move into the shadows and back.

The same dualities are at work throughout. Though none of the songs apart from the Beethoven and Strauss’s ‘Befreit’ is vast in scope, Harteros nobly underlines two very special centres of gravity: Schubert’s ‘Wehmut’, lightened by its vivacious successor, and Brahms’s ‘Die Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht’, inflected with all the luminous and darker tones she is capable of conjuring. 

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The sound could soon carry her into heroic territory, but let’s hope Harteros always keeps the lightness that enables her to ornament Schubert’s sea-picture and to make a perfect turn or two. Rieger’s tendency to make his instrument into an ethereal harp works well here. An enchanted hour. David Nice