Drama in movement as well as music

The Winter Journey @ Snape Maltings

The Winter Journey @ Snape Maltings

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Ian Bostridge, one of the most gifted tenors of his generation, gave a performance of Franz Schubert's Winter Journey that showed just why this cycle of 24 songs is ranked among the essential masterworks of German romanticism.

Though without quite all the range of tonal colour that some baritones employ, Bostridge's tenor voice was always supple and varied, whether in range of despair, in brief glimpses of happiness or in heart-moving resignation to the inevitable. An advantage was the accent of youth.


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This brought out the Hamletic quality of the wanderer, a younger man disappointed in love, always respon-sive to nature and hurt whenever he felt rebuffed. All these emotions were conveyed and there was drama in movement as well as in music.

The Linden Tree was richly laden with feeling, and The Post had all the thrill of coaching day. There was more emotion still in The Inn as we realised that for so tormented a temperament this was no hostelry but the last resting place.

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Mitsuko Uchida was the pianist. Calling her the accompanist would diminish her role and the artistic sensitivity she brought to it. Her vital and flexible response created mood time and again. Better still, in her final phrases she caught passions that went beyond words.

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