"Hot on the heels of the young Dutch mezzo’s debut disc – warmly welcomed by Hilary Finch in the April issue – comes a Mahler recital of astonishing range and sophistication. Go straight to ‘Rheinlegendchen’ to catch the lighter essence of Stotijn’s approach: every word is coloured and inflected with natural musicianship, but never gets in the way of line or phrasing. Her rock-solid alto range is equally adaptable to the gruff sentinel of ‘Der Schildwache Nachtlied’, an unforgettable withdrawal to a private world in the last verse of ‘Ich bin der Welt’ and the calm assurance of ‘Urlicht’ (programmed here to follow an intriguingly steady treatment of the song which, reworked as the Scherzo of the Second Symphony, also precedes its orchestral incarnation).
If there’s a fault, it’s that at the top of the range the vibrato can be tight under pressure, but characterisation overcomes it in the repeated ‘ades’ of ‘Scheiden und Meiden’. Like her pianist Julius Drake – a subtle impersonator of the birds, bugles and alphorns that haunt the naïve folk world of Mahler’s youthful forays – Stotijn makes every song a gem; it helps that the composer is always himself even in the early settings. The new concert hall of the Yehudi Menuhin School, making its recorded debut, lends warm support to the subtly varied recording." *****
BBC Music Magazine - December 2006
"She’s Dutch, in her late twenties, and with a mezzo voice this expressive, flexible, and free of faults no wonder her star is rising. After her CD debut with Schubert, Wolf and Berg she plunges into the Wunderhorn Mahler of nature’s wonders, darkness and light, and soldiers trembling at midnight. The lyrical radiance of her Urlicht is typical; so is the attention to character in the narrative songs. Julius Drake’s piano cradles her skilfully." ****
The Times - 13 October 2006
"Christianne Stotijn’s second recital disc for ONYX shows just what a difference a matter of months can make in a still developing mezzo-soprano voice. The first song in her all-Mahler programme, Fruhlingsmorgen, gives little indication of the emotional and artistic marathon ahead. Stotijn’s voice - rich and suggestive, sly and sorrowful as required, with shades of Janet Baker’s gravitas, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s candour, and Anne Sofie von Otter’s playfulness - is tailormade for Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder and Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Julius Drake’s accompaniment is perfectly
judged, both artists’ colouration of these intensely personal songs highly sophisticated. Urlicht indeed!" *****
Indeoendent On Sunday - 30 October 2006
"This splendid new Mahler release . [Stotijn’s voice is].. sheer joy.. full of wide-eyed childlike sense of wonder."
BBC CD Review - 11 November 2006
"The young Dutch mezzo Christianne Stotijn proves herself an extraordinary Mahler singer with this disc of 15 Lieder. She imparts theatrical drama to the Wunderhorn songs, finding an impressive palette of tone-colour with which to illuminate the texts. She comes to each song with a freshness of approach that is as invigorating as it is unusual. There is no lack of humour in Rheinlegendchen while hte great set-pieces Urlicht, Ich bin der Welt and Um Mitternacht - are thrillingly performed, not only by the singer but by the pianist Julius Drake. This is the first recording to be made in the new Menuhin Hall at the Menuhin School, Stoke D’Abernon and the sound is splendid. One of my discs of the year, for a certainty."
Sunday Telegraph - 19 November 2006
"Christianne Stotijn here confirms the promise of her CD debut disc with an even better recital of Mahler. Her warm, rounded mezzo is a lovely instrument, marred just occasionally by an over-intrusive vibrato on high notes; and, throughout this wide-ranging collection, mainly from the Knaben Wunderhorn, songs of parted lovers and doomed soldiers, tender whimsy and religious exaltation, her characterisation is vivid and true.
Stotijn is smiling and affectionate without winsomeness in those idealised Landler, Rheinlegendchen and Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht, chillingly dramatic in the anguished mother-daughter dialogue of Das Irdische Leben.
Most moving of all are the two final songs, Um Mitternacht, coloured by the deep, crimson glow of her lower register, and a rapt, withdrawn Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. Here and elsewhere pianist Julius Drake is wonderfully imaginative in his one-man evocations of a Mahlerian orchestra."
Daily Telegraph - 25 November 2006
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