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Anne Sofie von Otter & Bengt Forsberg

Backer Grøndahl: Fågelns visa; Efter en Sommerfugl; Mot Kvaeld; Ouvertyr
Sibelius: Men min fågel märks dock icke; Sommarnatten ; Rêverie
Nielsen: Sommersang; Genrebillede
Grieg: Lauf der Welt; Zur Rosenzeit
Stenhammar: Jungfru Blond och jungfru Brunett; Det far ett skepp




Brahms: Sommerabend Op. 85 No. 1; Am Sonntag Morgen Op. 49 No. 1; Die Mainacht Op. 43 No. 2; Ständchen Op. 106 No. 1

Debussy: Mandoline; Les cloches; Harmonie du soir No. 2 from 'Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire'

Chabrier: Impromptu in C

Offenbach : Les voix mystérieuse; Ah! Quel diner je viens de faire (La Perichole)

Lennon/McCartney: Blackbird

Alkan: Three pieces from Esquisses Op 63


 Wigmore Hall 13 June 2007


Music for a summer evening, gently painted in aquarelles by Anne Sofie von Otter's beautifully modulated voice and careful phrasing, as she sang of moonbeams and roses, glow-worms and nightingales. She progressed through a string of Scandinavian composers from the rather trite Backer Grondahl, balancing the relative severity of Sibelius and Nielsen with the golden warmth of Grieg and finishing with a couple of strange narratives from Wilhelm Stenhammar.


After the interval she turned to Brahms and Debussy, standard repertoire lovingly performed. She took a break whilst her pianist, Bengst Forsberg gave an outstanding performance of Chabrier's Impromptu, and then returned to the platform with a lively twinkle in her eye and a broad smile on her face. “There is nothing mysterious about Les voix mysterieuse “ she announced “with Monsieur Offenbach you get just what you expect”. But a surprise was in store as the songs were punctuated by three of the miniature but fiendishly difficult piano sketches from Alkan's Esquisses.


Encores followed. Von Otter loves comedy, she staggered onto and around the platform, pausing briefly to perch on the pianist's knee, before sending a music stand flying, all in the tipsy progress La Perichole's Ah! quel diner. Cabaret time had come to the Wigmore Hall and their closing encore was Lennon & McCartney ‘s Blackbird helped along by a little whistling from von Otter. A summer evening treat indeed!


Serena Fenwick


Photo credit Dan Hansson