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Mahler – Debussy – Grieg

MahlerRuckert Lieder

Debussy:  Chansons de Bilitis

Grieg:  6 Lieder Op. 48


Karen Cargill – mezzo soprano / Simon Lepper – piano


 Wigmore Hall 25 January 2009


This was quite simply an outstanding recital.  Karen Cargill is possessed of an extraordinary voice, totally secure from the broad depths of its range up to glittering top notes, and she knows how to use it to maximum effect.


Without any unnecessary mannerisms each phrase was carefully weighted and coloured, to reflect the subtlety of words and music.  Mahler’s Um Mitternacht was emphasised with a power that some baritones might envy, whilst Debussy’s La flute de Pan  was floated like an iridescent passing vision, and in Grieg’s Secretive Nightingale there was just the suggestion of a warm-throated warbling tantalisingly close at hand.


Simon Lepper’s piano accompaniment was sympathetically supportive, but the afternoon belonged to the singer.  All too soon the hour had flown, with encore time appropriately bringing a taste of Robert Burns.   


Serena Fenwick