Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lisa Gasteen returns

Simone Young conducting ... sketched in my program
Simone Young conducted the Sydney Symphony last night with Lisa Gasteen singing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. She sang with tenderness and secure voice delighting the Sydney audience. The last time I heard Lisa Gasteen  sing was in 2004 when she sang a wonderful Brünnhilde in the South Australian Ring Cycle. In 2008 she pinched a nerve in her neck while picking cumquats of all things and was forced to give up singing. Let's hope this is concert is a portend for good things to come.  

Young then conducted a fiery Bruckner's 9th Symphony and judging by the response the audience would have happily heard the whole thing twice over.

Addendum: I have just read through the notes about Wagner in my program and I am wondering why those who write about his music often seem to fall into the trap of repeating scuttlebutt and innuendo.  I looked the writer up and discover he is a not-unsuccessful local composer. I recommend to him that he read Wagner's letters to Mathida Wesendonck. I am half way through them, reading them slowly and often backtracking as they are so captivating. They explain so much about Tristan and Isolde. I don't think you could read them (together with Mathilda's notes about them) and still write the sort of commentary he wrote in the notes. The Lieder and music of course speak for themselves.

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