Miah Persson & Roger Vignoles

Ständchen, Op.106/1; Immer leiser wird main Schlummer, Op.105/2; Die Mainacht, Op.43/2; Vergebliches Ständchen, Op.84/4
Freudvoll und leidvoll; S’il est un charmant gazon; Oh! Quand je dors
All’ mein Gedanken, Op.21/1; Waldseligkeit, Op.49/1; Ich wollt ein Sträusslein binden, Op.68/2; Morgen!, Op.27/4; Schlechtes Wetter, Op.69/5
Själ och landskap
På reveln
I skogen; Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings mote; Månsken; Adagio
Solveigs sang; Det forster mode; En drom

Miah Persson (soprano) & Roger Vignoles (piano)

Reviewed by: Rob Pennock

Reviewed: 19 September, 2007
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London

Miah Persson. ©Mats BäckerMiah Persson is a lyric soprano who is best known for her Mozart. This recital contained items that suit such a voice, and was notable for showcasing Nordic composers. Persson’s voice is well projected and has a quick vibrato. However it is not particularly distinctive and, on the evidence of this recital, not yet fully developed.

Interpretively, the last two of the Brahms songs were very fine. Both “Die Mainacht” and “Vergebliches Ständchen” combined vivid word-painting with true feeling; the second Liszt song was suitably intense. But the Strauss group was rather bland, with the ubiquitous “Morgen!” taken too quickly and with no sense of rapt passion and expectation until the last two lines.

Technically, there were a number of issues. In “Ständchen” there was both flatness and sharpness; this latter flaw recurred throughout the first half. Several exposed notes were taken from below, or were not fully supported. In addition, registers were not completely integrated.

In the second half, these weaknesses were less prominent; however musical and interpretive blandness were more so. Nystroem’s songs are not noted for their jollity and Stenhammar was one of those composers who wrote a whole stream of beautifully crafted, but totally unmemorable, works. Unfortunately Persson heightened these qualities, with a decided lack of variety of tone and expression. By the end of Stenhammar’s Adagio – or Andante in this performance – one could understand why the white swans were leaving. Grieg didn’t fare much better. “Solvegs Song” was too fast, although the vocalise elements were well done. The final song was decidedly un-dreamlike.

More positively, Roger Vignoles was expressive and, in his introductions and postludes, used ravishing rubato. His defined, nuanced, responsive playing contained just those elements the singer lacked.

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