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Lieder without Lager

October 25th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

As a lover of small but perfectly formed festivals, I’m drawn to the current Oxford Lieder Festival and some concerts at the Holywell Music Room.  There is a numinous performance of Schumann songs by the young and very talented Stuart Jackson who is built like a prop forward and sings with the delicacy and adroitness of a winger;  he also endearingly has his shirt hanging out from his suit at the back. The songs of love, loss and Lorelei are terrific, with Jackson’s tenor accompanied by the equally talented and young Welsh pianist Jocelyn Freeman.

 But there’s one problem.  Songs such as these should be enjoyed, as at a true Oktoberfest, in the autumn sun with a large cold stein of lager to hand.  Not in a hushed auditorium.  It’s like listening to salsa and not being allowed to dance……

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