The XXVIII edition ends this season Lied cycle ofl Zarzuela Theater and the CNDM, and does it in style with the opportunity to listen to the project of Christian Gerhaher, The Wolf Project, which is offered in the format of two recitals, he 11 of July Spanish song book, with soprano Julia Kleiter and the 18 July with the mezzo-soprano Anna Lucia Richter. In both appointments accompanied on the piano by Ammiel Bushakevitz.
Gerhaher always manages to take us to a higher level. And that he does it with a less conventional repertoire and accompanied by young figures, although already consecrated, from the world of lied, is one more twist to this form of interpretation.
Hugo Wolf had never traveled to Spain, but the Nordics have always felt a kind of attraction for everything that had to do with southern Europe, above all they were attracted to the light, so scarce in their countries of origin. If Wolf knew Renaissance music, especially that of Tomás Luis de Victoria. He also knew great works of Spanish literature. Although the end result of these Spanish song book does not have any element that seems to be inspired by Spanish music or culture.
The texts used by Wolf belong to different centuries. Not so the translations of the eighteenth century, work of Geibel and Heyse and, so, understood and interpreted in the same way. The texts for the elaboration of these songs are taken from the Florestán of old Castilian rhymes (1821, 1825 Y 1843), the general songbook (1511) by Hernando del Castillo, the Songbook called Flower of lovers (1562) or the general ballad (1604). The 10 first, the Holy songs, they are religious songs. The 34 remaining, the Secular Songs, they are secular songs. The latter were divided into two parts for the recital.
Christian Gerhaher is an interpreter who transmits a lot with his voice and hardly anything with his expression or gesture. Everything bets on his way of “saying” the texts, almost always flawless, thanks also to a perfect phrasing. Your doorbell has a peculiarity lately, seems less and less baritonal, as for dark records. Which does not affect its expressiveness and intensity at all.
In this first recital he was accompanied by debutante Julia Kleiter. A vocal prodigy, of refined technique and musicality. With a surprising volume and absolute control of the vocal game that allows you to deliver emotions that reach the audience in a captivating way. He had some especially happy and emotional interventions, in this format in which they strutted before the lectern and which gave fluidity and balance to the recital.
Ammiel Bushakevitz's piano was also a very pleasant surprise. Accompanied from the background, this being a great virtue. It did not detract from the voices but their presence was evident and extraordinary. Pending all the details and all the dynamic changes, that were not few, taking into account that each of the works that alternated had no relation to each other. His intervention was full of freshness and brought his nuance to each of the works.
The second part of this peculiar project was carried out by the mezzo-soprano Anna Lucia Richter, next to Gerhaher. Last season we had the opportunity to attend his brand new debut at this Theater.
On this occasion Wolf uses texts from a compilation by Paul Heyse in 1860. Some German translations of texts such as Tuscan folk songs, corsi, Illyrians, greeks, by Nicolo Tommaseo. Tuscan folk songs about Giuseppe Trigi. Unpublished popular songs Umbrians, Ligurians, Marches, Piedmontese, Latin, by Oreste Mrcoaldi. Y songs of the Venetian people, by Angelo Dalmedico.
On this occasion the texts did not deal with, as in the Spanish song book, popular and religious songs, these are small everyday texts, small anecdotes and details of daily life.
Anna Lucia Richter is transformed by this repertoire and makes use of theatricality. His song is homogeneous and the expressiveness of his face, sometimes humorous, helps narrate the short stories it tells.
Christian Gerhaher, unlike the first recital, innermost, uses its volumes in the broadcast to give character to the character it plays. The forte becomes one of the main protagonists.
On this occasion the piano requires a greater role, and without a doubt Ammiel Bushakevitz knows how to endow his instrument with that quality. He knows how to generate every atmosphere, however small it may seem, and fill with nuances and accents each word pronounced by the interpreters.
A perfect finishing touch for this XXVIII Cycle of Lied of the Teatro de la Zarzuela and the CNDM that has been full of unforgettable moments. We already count the days for the start of the next season that begins, nothing less, that with René Pape.
Photograph: Elvira Megías/CNDM