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Subject: Matthias Goerne 1.4.2001/Verdi Requiem
From: Marco Schmid <[log in to unmask]>
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Date:Mon, 2 Apr 2001 00:41:10 EDT
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Dear Listers,

we have had the opportunity now to hear Thomas Quasthoff and Matthias Goerne
within a few weeks time. I would be hard pressed to say which of the two is
better.
It is wonderful that we have two artists, and I say artists not singers, like
this today singing Lieder. The opera world would be very fortunate if we had
more around us like these two men.
Goerne sang the first half of an All Mahler programm and the 5 Lieder nach
Gedichten by Rueckert are some of my favorite pieces of music. One could
understand every word Goerne sang. He also is quite a marvelous interpreter
and lives each song. I felt he was more living each song than Quasthoff for
example but again comparing these two would be like comparing Huesch to
Schlussnus or Leider to Flagstad. We are talking about the best of the best.
Quasthoff I believe might have the darker and more fuller instrument but he
doenst have the soft mezza voce and piano that Goerne has. I got goosebumps
twice (Ich atmet einen linden Duft and Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen). I
remember also getting goosebumps once at Quasthoff. This does not happen to
me very often these days. Of major importance was that Goerne (like
Quasthoff) understands what every song is about. You can tell that he learned
immensely from FiDi and from Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (both who were his
teachers and both whom he respects and admires immensely). Some of the
phrases were even more felt than sung (denn wirklich bin ich gestorben,
gestorben der Welt). This is how it must be and these are the things that
bring meaning and life into the songs. His whole range is seamless from top
to bottom and the the voice is of the highest quality. We have a lot of nice
voices around today but alas not many that move us. This is one of the voices
that really moves me (Quasthoff and Pape are two others). I dont want to go
into every one of the 5 songs since it was not an opera evening but let me
just say they were all spectacular.

I also picked up the new Requeim while uptown and havent listened to the
whole thing yet and since we already have such a wonderfully written review
by Mr Niel Rishoi I probably will not go into detail about it. I will say for
now (and perhaps a few more words after I listened to it all) that I
basically agree with what Niel says except I think he is giving Bocelli
better marks than I would. I find in that I have heard that he sticks out
like a sore thumb. I had the score here and was listening to bits here and
there and I also did not like the way he forced and pressed some of the high
notes (for example the high b flat in the Ingemisco). Borodina sounds
wonderful and Fleming does for the most part. Wonderful fluted high notes
(except not too crazy about the high b flat in the Libera Me althought
perfect high C). Everything is wonderful except she lacks a bit the bite and
low notes for the Libera Me.
But she does honor ALL the dynamic marks in the score and this is no small
feat. Wonderful crescendi and decrescnedi of notes and pp ppp and pppp all
observed.

Ok this is already way too much for now and it is too late.

Best to all and looking forward to seeing some of you there tomorrow at
Parsifal.

Marco Schmid
listening to Welitsch in Die Schwalbe

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