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Subject: Vocal Arts brings back Gerhaher & HUber in magnificent all Mahler program (12-6-16)
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 7 Dec 2016 11:41:46 -0500

text/plain (65 lines)

The second program of the Vocal ArtsDC season was a return engagement of the entrancing baritone Christian Gerhaher with his amazing accompanist Gerold Huber in an all Mahler program.

>     Christian Gerhaher, baritone
>     and
>     Gerold Huber,  piano
>     (1860–1911)
>     "Der Einsame im Herbst"
>            from Das Lied von der Erde
>     Sieben Lieder aus letzter Zeit
>        Rückert Lieder
>           “Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder”
>           “Ich atmet' einen linden Duft”
>          “Um Mitternacht”
>          “Liebst du um Schönheit”
>           “Ich bin der Welt abhanden
>                    gekommen”
>        from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
>             “Revelge”
>            “Der Tamboursg'sell”
>     Intermission
>     “Wo die schönen Trompeten
>            blasen”
>     from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
>     “Abschied”
>     from Das Lider von der Erde
>     One encore: Mahler -"Urlicht"
>     It had been 9 years since their DC debut with Vocal Arts and in checking my notes I recall he sang like and angel, but was quite unkempt. Now, the gentlemen were in white tie and tails and truly bespoke the epitome of German leider. The opening mesmerizing piano throughout and had us all fascinated indeed.
>     "Um Mitternacht" is indeed a well known song, but here they made it their own definitive piece that I shall remember forever. It is hard to explain, but it was about the breathing in the "Um Mitternacht" phrase as well as the timing and restraint that made it so different and special.
>     "Revelge" has us moving into "Der Knaben Wunderhorn" with its piano building to a frenzy.
>     The first half was about 40 minutes of music and the second only 30, but the evening was a full program for sure.
>     In the second half, I could not help remark how this baritone was reaching for tenor notes more and more. The program was stylistically bookended as "Der Abschied" has that same mesmerizing feel as the opening song did. They chose to go right into this from "Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen" and unfortunately at that very moment of a low chord on the piano someone's cellphone went off, even though we had been warned repeatedly to turn them off! In the fourth verse the silence at :Es wehet kuhl im Schatten" was so thick you could cut it with a knife and the extremely long interlude prior to the penultimate verse was truly miraculous.
>     It was a night to be remembered.
>     Alan J. Savada
>     Washington, DC

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