Monday, February 13, 2006

Schubert Lieder

I wish I could say I recommended these orchestrated Schubert Lieder with Anne Sofie von Otter and Thomas Quasthoff, with Claudio Abbado conducting. It's a cute idea, but the fact is that without the percussive qualities of the piano, this stuff is just too corny. It has no edge at all, and the singers fall right into it. They have no edge either. Maybe it's more authentic to be corny, but I don't have to like it.

His interpretations are much better than hers. He gets it. It's too bad he has a wobble.

Liszt's "Die junge Nonne" is the most interesting orchestration. However, a corny junge Nonne really doesn't cut it for me. For me it's about religious ecstasy, or it's about nothing at all.

"An die Musik" may be the only one that is actually improved by orchestration. It's not an edgy song.

P.S. Thomas Quasthoff is an emotionally authentic singer who is fully present in his singing. It's still about feeling, and he finds it. His virtues very much outweigh his flaws.

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