Peter Harvey - Winterreise - Gramophone

Highlights from the Joint Review:

Peter Harvey is a baritone whose name has become familiar over the last few years, mostly in association with Bach and with his concert work abroad, principally in France.  Introducing himself now as a Lieder singer on record with Winterreise might be presumptuous but, if so, no such thought occurred to me during the course of a performance which arouses sympathy from the start and never forfeits that rare and special kind of interest which is brought into play only with a sense of complete and urgent identification between the composition and its performers.  The other recording, I'm afraid, can be used in a combined review such as this only to point up the exceptional merits of its competitor...

Moreover (and this is important even in this realm of high art), Peter Harvey sings with the voice of humanity.  His tone admits a degree of vibrancy - he has known something of life...[the] persistent imaginative freedoms which Gary Cooper allows himself.  Cooper's prize is that when he comes to the great test - the marvellous, unforgettable sound-image of the organ-grinder - he leaves us, uniquely (as it seems) in full and rightful possession.

10 February 2011