Reviews
Category: Reviews & Articles
Schubert's Winterreise

Review

"Scarlata's robust voice is anchored in low tones that a few basses might envy, but buoyed by flexibility in its top to give dramatic poignance to some of the icy revelations in Die Winterreise. Coupled with the singer's sensitivity to the piano's comments and keen understanding of the weight and color of the words, that voice attracted strong interest for itself, but equally for the expressive range Scarlata devised.

Scarlata's interpretation was apt and full of intelligence, boldly shaped and colored. When a cry of pain was needed, as in "Wasserflut," his cry had substance to shake the walls. When a bit of falsetto was needed to reveal the anguish of a moment, as in the final notes of "Irrlicht," he fit those two notes into his high range seamlessly and admirably.

And everywhere, with Noda's perceptive playing, Scarlata found the vocal weight and color to make each strophe, or stanza, distinct from the others. In the pivotal fifth song, "Der Lindenbaum," the two performers developed a different mood and sound for each of the six strophes while maintaining the music's coherence. The contrasts implied in the texts captured Scarlata's fullest attention. Each song had its inner life revealed by his use of dynamic shadings, a pause, a change in vocal color. Scarlata's gift with text and coloration and with expressive directness will take him on repeated journeys into this music. Audiences can look forward to them."