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Schumann & Strauss lieder

Robert Schumann: Frauenliebe und -leben Op. 42
Richard Strauss:
Kling! Op. 48 No. 3 : Wir beide wollen springen : Du meines Herzens Krönelein Op. 21 No. 2 : Lob des Leidens Op. 15 No. 3 : Wiegenlied Op. 41 No. 1 : Die Nacht Op. 10 No. 3 : Befreit Op. 39 No. 4 : Freundliche Vision Op. 48 No. 1 : Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten Op. 19 No. 4; Morgen Op. 27 No 4

Petra Lang
(mezzo-soprano) and Charles Spencer (piano)

Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert at Wigmore Hall 14 May 2007

 

Petra Lang's short lunchtime recital was accomplished, assured and a sheer delight. She started with Schumann's familiar Frauenliebe and brought alive the romantic journey from love's bright awakening, through marriage and motherhood to the final grief of death. With a completely secure technique and a wide palette of vocal colour no detail in the text escaped her attention, nor is she a singer who plays it safe, but pushes herself right to the emotional edge.

 

After a few minutes pause she returned to the platform with a spring in her step for her second selection. For this she had chosen an interesting mix of familiar and less familiar lieder by Richard Strauss. This is sumptuous music and she let her voice off the rein to soar in all its bright glory. One sensed further reserves of power, but it was perfectly in scale to fill, but never overwhelm, the Hall.

 

BBC's Stephanie Hughes in her usual introductory remarks had told us that pianist Charles Spencer had only flown into London that morning, but his playing was as perfectly judged as ever. A memorable occasion and one which I hope may be preserved in the Wigmore Live CD series.

 

Serena Fenwick

Credit: Ann Weitz (Petra Lang)

 

q.v. 'Her distinctively individual and rich mezzo voice was served by flawless technique with perfect breath-control and she floated rapt pianissimo as well as rising to dramatic climaxes, those however scaled to the Wigmore Hall's acoustic' Musical Pointers April 2005