tue 24/11/2020

Wolfgang Holzmair, Andreas Haefliger, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Wolfgang Holzmair, Andreas Haefliger, Wigmore Hall

Wolfgang Holzmair, Andreas Haefliger, Wigmore Hall

Wolfgang Holzmair and Andreas Haefliger for all their artistry don't make the pain burn

Baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and pianist Andreas Haefliger: two to admire for musicianship and integrity Wigmore Hall

There’s something beyond detailed and attentive musicianship that’s needed in Schubert’s last, most desolate song-cycle, Winterreise (“Winter’s journey”). It’s a dramatic arc that unites these 24 songs into a journey, the number of breaths in time and miles in distance that elapse from the first poem to the 24th, and bring you a sense of contact with the person undergoing this terrible suffering. Someone who is not Schubert, the composer, or Müller, the poet, but a third person.

There’s something beyond detailed and attentive musicianship that’s needed in Schubert’s last, most desolate song-cycle, Winterreise (“Winter’s journey”). It’s a dramatic arc that unites these 24 songs into a journey, the number of breaths in time and miles in distance that elapse from the first poem to the 24th, and bring you a sense of contact with the person undergoing this terrible suffering. Someone who is not Schubert, the composer, or Müller, the poet, but a third person.

What should be a landscape of desperate states became a repeating pattern.

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Comments

I am always puzzled when a review of a live performance fails to mention audience reaction. I was at the Wigmore for the unusual Holzmair/Haefliger Winterreise, and there was no sense of let-down in my part of the hall, or from those whom I spoke to afterwards. On the contrary, the experience was being savoured.

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