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Toward twilight

Romanian Athenaeum
09/20/2005 -  
Mahler : Rückert Lieder
Schubert : Six Lieder on poems by Goethe
Enescu : Three Lieder on poems by Carmen Sylva
Enescu : Four Songs from “Sept chansons de Clément Marot”
Uroš Krek : Five Slovenian Popular Songs

Marjana Lipovšek (mezzosoprano), Anthony Spiri (piano)

I cherish a vivid remembrance of Marjana Lipovšek’s creation in the role of The Sphinx in the first CD recording with Oedipe by George Enescu, in which the Slovenian mezzosoprano practically re-created the character, attributing it subtleties of expression, insinuations combined with sarcastic accents, pervert rethoric, bitter laughter. Unexpected vocal colours accompanied her interpretation.

Arrived in Bucharest with such an aura, (to which the interpretation of the same character in the Berlin-Vienna co-production of Oedipe was added) together with the reputation given by the presences on important lyric stages, Marjana Lipovšek proposed for this Edition of the Festival, in the Romanian Athenaeum Hall, a recital consisting of attentively selected pieces from Mahler and Schubert to Enescu and Krek (Slovenian Popular Songs, specially composed for the mezzosoprano).
Undoubtely, the stylistic culture of Marjana Lipovšek is prodigious and her art of combining the meaning of words with musical notes is convincing, exhibiting a high ability to communicate emotion. The mezzosoprano is doubtlessly knowledgeable in narrating, in evoking, in creating atmosphere, filtering hints of subtle humour. This was all evident throughout the recital, finalized by two encores, another Slovenian Popular Song (composed by Lipovšek’s father) and a Lullaby by Dvořak.

In spite of these qualities, a sort of “power reduction” was evident if we try to disclose what is hidden behind the discretion of addressing, otherwise elegant and deeply charged. Marjana Lipovšek moves toward the twilight of her career and this is felt in a slight lack of focus or in a rather approximating pitch control, at the moment when probably tired to the end of a substantial recital.
Thus I built up some reticenses, to which I may add those regarding the interpretation of the famous lied The Erl King by Schubert, highly dramatized, like a performance in a theatre. I would have preferred to linger in the world of dreams, to be transposed by the vocal colours of the mezzosoprano in the imaginary universe of Goethe’s legend.

Indeed, Kammersängerin Marjana Lipovšek arrived a little late in Bucharest for a recital (together with the excellent accompanist Anthony Spiri). I keep pro memoria her creation in the CD recording with Oedipe, a peak difficult to be equalled.

Costin Popa



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