One of the warmest personalities on the opera and concert stage today, soprano Diana Damrau has put together a beguiling program for her recital at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.The selection of Romantic to fin-de-siècle pieces not only underscores her own vocal artistry, but also pays tribute to her accompanist Xavier de Maistre and, in particular, to the diaphanous delicacy of his instrument, the harp.
The use of the harp to replace the piano in a voice recital is a truly unique and unexpected musical treat. De Maistre does more than simply transpose the piano part to his instrument; under the fingers of the Wiener Philharmoniker’s solo harpist, the ethereal sound of this instrument melds consum- mately with the soprano’s finely honed vocal part, so that the masterpieces by composers such as Schumann, Fauré and Debussy sound as if they had been conceived for voice and harp.
The unrivalled intimacy of a chamber concert is conveyed by the placing of the soloists and public within touching distance on the stage of the Festspielhaus. This distinctly informal atmosphere is captured by Emmy Award winning director Brian Large. Discreetly highlighting the interpretative subtleties and spontaneous personality of Diana Damrau, he helps confirm her status as one of the most exciting, expressive and, above all, natural and unaffected sopranos of our time.
Diana Damrau, soprano
Xavier de Maistre, harp