|yes I'm using that one same photo again|
Luckily he improved with a super Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, expression following every turn of the text and a powerful momentum to the third song, the vehement “Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer,” dying down for a celestial “Zwei Blauen Augen.”
The second half was songs that were entirely new to me. Kurt Weill’s Whitman songs are set to four very familiar militaristic poems, including even “O Captain, my Captain.” Deutsch provided the military music in “Beat! Beat! Drums,” but the mood of most of the songs is a languid, cabaret-influenced jazziness that is most unexpected for soldiers. However, it kind of works, making the texts seem not so overwhelmingly tragic, and the dirge of the “Dirge for Two Veterans” is familiarly Weill-y. And Bostridge sang in English with idiomatic ease. The four selections from Britten’s op. 84 set “Who are these children” (set to poems by William Soutar) were unsettling and haunting, with an air raid siren sounding through the final song, and delivered with intensity. Encores were the altogether sweeter “She never told her love” and thematically appropriate and energetic “Sailor’s Song,” both from Haydn’s English Canzonettas, and Purcell’s “Music for a while.”
This was my second Konzerthaus liederabend with a focus on dead children this season. Lieder, always the cheeriest art.
Ian Bostridge, tenor; Helmut Deutsch, piano. Konzerthaus, 5.27.2011. Program: Mahler, "Frühlingsmorgen," "Erinnerung," "Das irdische Leben," "Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen," "Revelge"; Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Weill, Four Walt Whitman Songs. Britten, "Nightmare," "Slaughter," "Who are these children?" and "The children," from "Who are these children," op. 84.