Born in Delft, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn apparently shares the traditional Dutch love of the music of Mahler. (As longtime Mahler aficionados will no doubt recall, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam was the first to mount a complete cycle of the Austrian master's symphonies after World War I.) In this 2006 recital, Stotijn selected a program ranging from Mahler's earliest mature songs to his last songs for voice and piano and including such favorites as the melancholy "Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen," the haunting "Nicht Wiedersehen!," the sublime "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen," and, naturally, the blissful "Urlicht." With her full, rich voice; her impeccable phrasing; and her consummate musicality, Stotijn sounds more like an alto than a mezzo, and more like a latter-day Janet Baker than anyone else. Although some more austere Mahlerians might find her tone too warm and her delivery too sentimental, those who think there's no such thing as emotional restraint in Mahler so long as the singer puts across the meaning of the music will surely enjoy Stotijn's performances. Brilliantly and sympathetically accompanied by pianist Julius Drake and preserved in close, clear but slightly dry sound by Onyx Classics, this disc continues the Dutch love of Mahler.
Mahler: Lieder Review
by James Leonard