Christine Schäfer: Pierre Boulez
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I loved Christine Schäfer's interpretation of Alban Berg's Lulu - also on DVD - and I have enjoyed her interpretations of Baroque music with period instrument orchestras. Ms Schäfer sings in clear and straight voice without vibrato. Her voice is perfect for modern/C20 music as well as Baroque music. She explains why she dislikes vibrato and the whole "diva scene" in the interview.
One Night. One Life is a disturbing and utterly compelling presentation. I have a recording of this work - Herreweghe's with the Marianne Pousseur singing, I like this recording, but I never engaged with it in the same way I do with Schoenberg's piano music and his beautiful Verklärte Nacht. When I first watched Schäfer's interpretation (with Pierre Boulez directing the Ensemble Intercontemporain) I was stunned - it was an epiphany for me. At last I really felt connected with this strange, weird, difficult and beautiful music. I think I needed to see it performed. The CGI and Matrix-like scenes are beautiful and exciting to watch.
"What is the colour of thought?", we are asked at the start of One Night. One Life, perhaps, Christine Schäfer, Arnold Schoenberg and Pierre Boulez offer us some suitable visions and speculations? I felt like I was taken deep into a very strange and dreamlike place - a place that asks us more questions than it answers.Read more ›
If so, you'll want to own this DVD if only to know more about Schaefer's performance style, development and milieu in Berlin, which seems more open to off-kilter (non-academic) ambition than classical music's rigid hierarchy in the States.
The great: The performance of Pierrot Lunaire is stellar. Additionally, Schaefer's rendition of Dichterliebe may be enjoyed without -- or with -- the imposition of non-music-related video footage (the DVD offers both options). Personally, I prefer seeing the performers without an imposed visual narrative.
Singing Pierrot, Schaefer is in her own lofty league; in terms of intonation, she even bests greats like Jessye Norman and Christa Ludwig. I still prefer Dichterliebe versions by Fritz Wunderlich and the incredibly literary Dietrich-Fischer Dieskau, but Schaefer's interpretation is well worth hearing (and seeing).
The brave: Schaefer deserves props for sheer courage. In her videos, the singer appears nude, soaks in unpleasant-looking viscous solids, caresses hanging meat and consents to several other potentially embarrassing scenarios that other acclaimed classical singers would never dream of trying (let alone, preserving on DVD).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Christine & Oliver take you into a musical and visual dimension unlike anything ever put on film'Published 14 months ago by Silicon Chimp
This DVD is a travesty.
"Pierrot Lunaire" is one of the great masterpieces of the early twentieth century, the high point of Schoenberg's "contextual" or... Read more
There is relatively little material by Christine Schafer on video which is why I bought this DVD. It contains two performances plus an extended interview (in German). Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by David Smith