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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Roderick William Wants You To Savor Schubert’s Love-Struck Lieder

By Norman Lebrecht on June 21, 2019

Roderick Williams
Roderick Williams (Photo courtesy of Groves Artists)

Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin (Chandos)

★★★★☆

One of the marvels of English music-making in the past couple of years has been the emergence of Roderick Williams in mid-career as one of the most pleasing lieder baritones of our time. Williams, who is 54, has sung Billy Budd and Don Giovanni among other operatic roles. He is also a composer. But it is in Lieder that he has found a true vocation and his performance of Schubert’s love-struck cycle captures all the colours of a bucolic landscape and the clouds of an unattainable desire.

What I particularly like is that, unlike Fischer-Dieskau for instance, he neither hardens his voice nor raises the volume in order to express anger or frustration. Every shade of emotion is caressed into existence, above the babbling brook and darkening sky of Iain Burnside’s intuitive accompaniment. Throughout the cycle, there is hardly one interpretive decision that I would question.  Check out the fourth song — ‘thanks to the brook’ — to catch perhaps the most perfect Schubert singing and pianism of the present time.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
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Ludwig Van Toronto

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By Norman Lebrecht on July 5, 2019

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LEBRECHT LISTENS | The Bamberg Symphony Returns To Bedrock Repertoire

By Norman Lebrecht on July 12, 2019

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LEBRECHT LISTENS | Roderick William Wants You To Savor Schubert’s Love-Struck Lieder

By Norman Lebrecht on June 21, 2019

One of the marvels of English music-making in the past couple of years has been the emergence of Roderick Williams in mid-career as one of the most pleasing lieder baritones of our time.
Read the full story Comments
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