Wonder of wonders at the Wigmore Hall where the star of Mahler was shining brightly tonight.
With the generosity that only truly great artists can offer Alice Coote and Graham Johnson shared the stage with two artists from the next generation Marta Fontanais-Simmons and Fleur Barron.
A range of emotions as Mahler digs deep into the soul and it was in the overpowering emotion of Um Mitternacht that Alice had the people of the Ukraine in mind …..’the beating of my heart …I fought the fight ‘…..the tension was overwhelming for us all as she barely whispered ‘I am dead to the world’s tumult …I live alone in my heaven ,in my loving ,in my song’ moments of aching silence and an emotion I have only once felt before from Schwarzkopf and Hugo Wolf.
We know how the land lies only too well these days!
There was beauty too from Maria in Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen and great emotion from Fleur Barron in Kindertotenlieder.
But it was the fun they shared together as a ‘farewell’ encore that brought the house down and a release of tension that had been almost unbearable in its intensity.
Graham like a great German orchestra presided at the piano producing colours and sounds with a sense of balance and architectural shape that only augmented and illuminated the searing intensity of Mahler’s deep journey into our soul .