An early birthday present from my in-laws this last Monday: a ticket to hear Mark Padmore sing Schubert’s Die Winterreise in the Lady Chapel of Lichfield Cathedral, as a part of the Lichfield Festival, wonderfully accompanied by Paul Lewis. It was wonderful. Padmore, who is better know as for Bach/Handel repertoire (he is currently the Evangelist of choice for Bach passions) stepped into this very different music with utter conviction. The most impressive aspect was the sheer range of his voice. I knew from recordings just how pure the top end of the voice was, but he was completely secure in the lower register that is so crucial for this song cycle. Above all, the feeling was of being taken on a journey into a ever-deeper darkness, which as many note, ends in the hushed tones of the final song: Der Leiermann (The Hurdy-Gurdy Man). Padmore sang this song and its predecessor, Die Nebensonnen, with such intensity that I was on the edge of my seat.
Anyway, all of which is an excuse to post some YouTube clips for those who are interested, or who might want to get a feel for what I am wittering on about.
First the voice. Here is Mark Padmore singing Bach BWV 0179: Cantata “Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei” (roughly translated as “make sure that your fear of God does not become hypocrisy”). The tenor recitative and aria start at about 3:13 in.
Then, for good measure, here is part 2 of the same Cantata, with the glorious Magdalena Kozena kicking in about 2 minutes in:
Then to the music. Here is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Der Leiermann, the final song in Die Winterreise (subtitles provided):