k r i t i k e n   . .   m u s i k t h e a t e r




Bartok: Herzog Blaubarts Burg, Rotterdamer Philharmoniker 2023
(D: Shani)

Claudia Mahnke and Johannes Martin Kränzle were the particularly fine soloists. Mezzo-soprano Mahnke had a radiant high C at that fifth door ready. Both played the psychological game between the two characters vocally very intriguingly. They also held perfectly well in front of the enormous orchestra behind them, which lay there like a scary monster ready to strike. Shani kept the balance beautifully in hand. The beautiful sounding Hungarian language adds so much to this mystery.

Mezzo Claudia Mahnke and baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle sang from memory and interpreted their characters with verve….As more doors opened and fate became inevitable, the chemistry between the lovers grew and the coordination with the orchestra also improved. The ecstatic pre-apotheosis, when Judith has opened five doors and a manic Bluebeard still believes that will be enough, was beautiful. The lake of tears behind the sixth door palpably dashed all hope to the ground. The run-up to the last door, behind which Judith had long suspected Bluebeard’s previous lovers, was very strong: hypothermic, ominous and moving. If those women turn out to be alive, Bluebeard will be really scary.