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RECORDING OF THE MONTH
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Thousands of Miles
Kate Lindsey (mezzo-soprano)
Baptiste Trotignon (piano & arrangements)
rec. 2016, Teldex Studio, Berlin
Sung texts with French, German and English translations enclosed ALPHA CLASSICS 272 [63:45]
Hard on the heels of Dagmar Peckova’s all-Weill disc (review) comes this mixed recital which includes ten Weill songs, half of which also was found of Peckova’s disc. But the differences are far-flung. Peckova was backed up by orchestral forces, often in colourful arrangements. Here Baptiste Trotignon’s piano and his own arrangements lend the music a more chamber-size quality. Moreover the accompaniments are harmonically distanced from Weill’s originals – and highly fascinating at that. Being primarily a jazz pianist he also improvises. Kate Lindsey, noted opera singer, appearing at many of the world’s greatest opera houses, is also an exceptional artist. She has a classy, vibrant and beautiful voice capable of myriads of nuances and expressions. Just listen to the juxtaposition of Pirate Jenny and Barbara Song from The Threepenny Opera, where she is brutally guttural in the beginning and then ethereally fine-tuned. Generally she has an utterly personal approach to the songs that keeps you constantly glued to her readings. Her interpretation of Alma Mahler’s Hymne is far from orthodox but conveys new insights in a song you thought you knew. Weill’s Je ne t’aime pas also has a strongly personal touch and Trotignon improvises a fascinating interlude before the end of the song.
Korngold’s Schneegl÷ckchen from Six Simple Songs is no doubt indebted to Richard Strauss, but it is a fine song and he was barely teenager when he wrote it. A truly wonderful song is Alma Mahler’s Die stille Stadt and Kate Lindsey makes you listen to it with new ears. The other Korngold song, Mond, so gehst du wieder auf from Lieder des Abschieds is a more mature composer, contemporaneous with his opera Die tote Stadt. It’s deeply emotional and Kate Lindsey’s pianissimo singing is so magical!
Back to Kurt Weill Kate Lindsey and Baptiste Trotignon treat us to a bluesy juxtaposition of two numbers from Weill’s American opera Street Scene from 1946, and another mixture combines Buddy on the Nightshift from 1942 with Berlin im Licht from 1927. A number from the opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1930) – Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man – amply demonstrates her way of lingering over a phrase and make it memorable – and here she employs a typical Brecht-voice in the tradition of Sonja Kehler or Gisela May.
The concluding songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky are also masterly – as compositions as well as interpretations. In the first, Und hat der Tag all seine Qual, there is a moment when she at „dann ÷ffnet Nacht den Himmelssaal“ turns the phrase to magic and wrings every drop of emotion out of the music. Kate Lindsey has not one voice, she has different voices for each particular situation and she judges every situation with the utmost care. The interplay with Baptiste Trotignon is also magical. This is a recital to return to over and over again and find new insights and revelations every time.
Previous review: Ian Lace (Recording of the Month) Contents Kurt WEILL (1900 – 1950)
1. Nanna’s Lied [3:24]
2. Pirate Jenny – Barbara Song (from The Threepenny Opera) [4:23]
3. Trouble Man (from Lost in the Stars) [3:35] Alma MAHLER (1879 – 1964)
4. Hymne [5:19] Kurt WEILL
5. Je ne t’aime pas [4:42]
6. Thousands of Miles – Big Mole (from Lost in the Stars) [4:41]
7. Don’t Look Now [3:01] Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897 – 1957)
8. Schneegl÷ckchen [2:51] Alma MAHLER
9. Die stille Stadt [3:05] Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD
10. Mond, so gehst du wieder auf [4:10] Kurt WEILL
11. Lonely House – We’ll go away together (from Street Scene) [5:43]
12. Der Abschiedsbrief [3:16]
13. Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man (from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny) [4:33]
14. Buddy on the Nightshift – Berlin im Licht [3:40] Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871 – 1942)
15. Und hat der Tag all seine Qual [4:18]
16. Selige Stunde [2:15]
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