Bronzed Schubert and Mahler
The plenty and proximity of Schwarzenberg’s genial surroundings—culinary-, scenery-, and otherwise— brings with it, on occasion, a genuinely good reason (or two) to skip half of a recital. And seeing how it is rare that the second half of a program isn’t better than the first, one need not feel excessively guilty about it. This by way spurious excuse to pick up on the ChristianeKargGeroldHuber (one word) afternoon-recital (September 1st) as they performed three Schubert songs to open the second half with, all three of which actually did make one regret not having also caught the selection of Schubert and Schumann (Clara & Robert) before the break. Mlle. Karg, an animated statue cast in soft bronze and distractingly beautiful, delivered her Schubert with a quality—occasionally—of determination but also lots of natural, albeit never casual singing.
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 1 ) • An Introduction
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 2 ) • Prégardien Père et Fils
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 3 ) • Belcea Quartet & Thomas Quasthoff
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 4 ) • Belcea Quartet & Till Fellner
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 5 ) • Diana Damrau & Xavier de Maistre
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 6 ) • Lemony Bostridge, Lascivious Röschmann
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 7 ) • Hagen Quartett II
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 8 ) • Andreas Scholl & Tamar Halperin
>Notes from the 2013 Schubertiade ( 9 ) • Angelika Kirchschlager & Schrammeln
Natural front-man—front-gal—though she is, her presence could net skew the impression that the quality of the recital was specifically thanks to the KargHuber Duo and not just one element (her) thereof. The eight Mahler (Alma & Gustav) songs, were better, still… more suited to that particular determined element of Karg’s; beautiful songs, beautifully sung. Demanding pieces (Alma’s with overt hints of Zemlinsky), they left interpretative room for an admirable performance but not the opportunity for shenanigans nor moments in which Karg could be tempted to push and wail, but instead infuse and whisper, relate and communicate. After a recital of such diverting quality, Schumann’s “Lotusblume” was a positively welcome encore.