Soprano Rachel Harnisch

Press & Media


Konzert Review

Liederabend-Sternstunde in Essen

Occasionally, the audience reacts disgruntled when a highly esteemed interpreter renounces and must replace it at short notice. In the meantime, unexpected appearances often promise the nicest surprises. Some careers experienced the necessary thrust by taking action. Swiss-born soprano Rachel Harnisch, who comes from Valais, did not need such an initial spark at the age of 43.

She is one of the opera singers that is valued at Milan's La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Zurich Opera House, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Munich State Opera. In Essen she has already performed under Stefan Soltesz. And yet it is surrounded by the aura of the insider tip, because it does not let the commercial music business take over. In the Essen Philharmonic she jumped with a recital so briefly for the sick Annette Dasch that there was not even time to print a new program over night. Instead of an epoch portrait of morbid Vienna before and after the downfall of the Danube Monarchy, the long journey from a romantic song to the art of song of early modernism was on the program, no less exciting.

Rachel Harnisch is dedicated to the intimate art of the song with such verve as the concert performance and the opera. Knowing that the song song reveals qualities and weaknesses of a voice like a litmus test. With cleverly dosed warmth despite supercooled sovereign distance, at clearly focused precision even in the highest position, rich fullness, sparkling colors, unaffectedly intimate lyric and juvenile-dramatic expression, this singer does not fool anyone.

It burns through the changing baths of emotions in Schubert's "Dwarf". Schubert's "Ghost Dance" gets her to a highly dramatic illuminated little scene. Nor is she guilty of the mischievous comedy in the four-pronged refrain song "The Distinction" or the yearning for release of the "Young Nun". Rachel Harnisch also makes clear which refinement Alban Berg borrowed in the expressive condensation of his "Seven Early Songs" from the romantic German art song tradition.

And then only the liedlich simple tone in Gustav Mahler's "Rheinlegendchen" in contrast to the change baths intoxicating exuberance and melancholic pause in four of the five Rückert songs Mahler, the proximity of the "Rosenkavalier" world with Richard Strauss in the "Rosenband" and the sparkling Magic of last glow, free of any showmanship, in Eichendorff's "Abendrot" from the "Four Last Songs". In the knowledgeable audience triumphed the barefoot appearing, excellently accompanied by Jan Philip Schulze on the wing singer with magnificent expressiveness.
Bernd Aulich