Christianne Stotijn press reviews
Edinburgh International Festival - recital with Joseph Breinl
"Triumph she did. Christianne Stotijn’s was a benchmark Queen’s Hall recital from which Handel was excluded and the morning was devoted to a compelling combination of Strauss and Schoenberg...
Stotijn’s soft-edged but always luminous, deeply-felt singing had sprinkled beauty, and the finest sense of phrasing and colour, on everything she touched, each line shot through with the gleaming responsiveness of Joseph Breinl’s piano playing.
These qualities also distinguished the succinct passion of the 15 songs that form Schoenberg’s momentous Book of the Hanging Gardens, not least because Breinl’s accompaniments, particularly the postlude to the 14th song, were models of articulacy. Among the encores, Strauss’s Morgen had surely been hopefully awaited by the audience. It was exquisitely sustained.
Star rating: *****"
heraldscotland, August 2010
"In music where the composer's own emotional turmoil is never far away, Stotijn and Breinl brought engaging integrity to these meaningful settings."
Scotsman.com, August 2010
BBC Music Magazine VOCAL AWARD WINNER
"Vocal: Christianne Stotijn & Julius Drake
Tchaikovsky: Romances (Onyx)
The Dutch mezzo-soprano is best known for her interpretation of Mahler, both in recital and in highly-acclaimed performances conducted by Bernard Haitink, whose protégé she has been. Christianne Stotjin was a BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award (2005).
'Christianne Stotijn is that artist in a thousand whose personality shines through everything she does.'
Bristol Magazine, April 2010, BBC Music Magazine Awards
'Dream Works' recital, Wigmore Hall
"The gale-force winds of German Romantic angst, and one or two things that go bump in the night: those were the forces that drove and named Christianne Stotijn’s Dream Works recital, her latest at the Wigmore Hall.
Joseph Breinl was the perfect partner, his piano playing minutely sentient, warmly supportive and chillingly evocative. Two poems by Eichendorff had their darker subtext revealed by Hans Pfitzner in his Nachts, and by Hugo Wolf in Nachtzauber. And, while Breinl’s fingers recreated the sound of distant bells and moonlit brooks in beautifully mixed and mingled tones, Stotijn’s mezzo delicately tinted each vowel...There’s a brilliant, even hard, strength at the top of her register, sometimes flashing with vibrato. And there’s a steadier, veiled warmth in the lower part of her voice...
Where these two “voices” came into their own was in the dialogue between life and death, the human and the spirit world, which ran through her programme.
It surfaced first in Mussorgsky’s Lullaby from the Songs and Dances of Death: a stern, concentration focused Stotijn’s mezzo in the voice of Death, facing the tremulous fear of the Mother.
After five Richard Strauss songs, Stotijn turned to three epic ballads by Carl Loewe: pure performance art. Here, the veiled, dark tones of her voice conjured the unearthly seduction of Erl King and Erl King’s Daughter, in Erlkönig and Herr Oluf; with the bright, unstable light at the top of her register flaring out in the fear of the kidnapped boy and bridegroom.
And, with her long red hair streaming out behind, Stotijn incarnated both terrified daughter and witchy mother in the wild dialogue of Walpurgisnacht."
The Times, March 2010, Wigmore Hall recital with Joseph Breinl
Mahler 'Das Lied von der Erde'
"This Mahler performance was yet another chance for Haitink to work with his protégée, the Dutch mezzo Christianne Stotijn...As The Lonely One in Autumn she sat rapt, visualising the scene until imagination was fleshed out in the simplest of song. And she was minutely sensitive to each orchestral soloist: her duetting with the principal flute, threading each word through the melodic line, created a muted and sensuous yearning in the final Abschied that will remain long in the memory."
The Times, October 2009, London Symphony Orchestra / Bernard Haitink
Mahler Symphony number 2
"The one touch of transcendence came at the start of Urlicht, which Christianne Stotijn sang with clairvoyant grace."
Financial Times, September, London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
"The protracted pace of Jurowski's fourth movement allowed the mezzo soloist, Christianne Stotijn, to linger rapturously over Urlicht"
Evening Standard, September, London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
"Then, with the Scherzo's final gong-stroke still vibrating on the air, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn's voice stole in with a folk poem about heaven. This was a brilliant stroke, which suggested that the murky, trivial aspects of life and the transcendent are separated by only a hair's breadth – an idea of which Mahler would surely have approved."
Telegraph, September, London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
Cheltenham International Festival
"From her first phrases it was obvious that Christianne Stotijn is an artistic singer with a rich voice which she used to express fully the many emotions in her recital. Whether placing notes on the mask of her face or deep in her chest register she drew us completely into her world.
Beginning with Mendelssohn’s well-known On Wings of Song, the following songs opened up more of his lyricism, the climax coming in Hexenlied. This exciting drama brought pianist Julius Drake to the fore in the significant accompaniment. Throughout the evening his playing was as partner and sure support, and in six songs by Zemlinsky he heightened the sense of mystery in She Went to the Castle and delicate suspense in Maiden’s Song. To Maeterlinck’s poems Zemlinsky wrote long soaring phrases which suited Stotijn’s expansive voice, and she knew when to release the drama without losing grip of the poetry.
Mahler is not easy to sing; every note, no matter how small, has to be in place, and Stotijn achieved this with ease. She put over every nuance in each song, and kept our attention in the long piano passages of Where the beautiful trumpets blow. Despite her obviously tiring voice, this compelling artist pleased her audience with two encores."
Crackerjack reviews, July 2009
Jeptha - Storgè
"Mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn found many moods in the multifarious character of Storgè"
Financial Times, June 2009 Gabrieli Consort and Players / Paul McCreesh and Mark Padmore
Mahler - Ruckert Lieder
“Haitink had introduced Orchestra Hall audiences to the rising Dutch mezzo Christianne Stotijn last fall when she was the riveting soloist in Mahler's Second Symphony, the Resurrection, and she is a most welcome return guest. In her performances of Mahler's 1901-02 Rückert Lieder, Stotijn chose to perform these five lyric settings with their most wistful number, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" ("I am lost to the world"), coming at the end. This order allows us to hear the narrator say farewell while getting a taste of where the composer would go in his subsequent works.
Stotijn is a natural musical storyteller, and she infuses even the darkest moments of these songs with her own vibrancy and easy confidence. English horn Scott Hostetler was her essential partner."
Chicago Sun Times, April 2009
Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink
"A soft-edged, supple account of Mahler’s “Rückert Lieder,” with the mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, sustained that wistfulness and shifted it toward the otherworldly. As in the Bruckner, Mr. Haitink conducted with restraint, but here a touch of reticence worked to the music’s benefit...Ms. Stotijn’s graceful, thoughtfully phrased rendering of the vocal line.
The New York Times, May 2009
Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink
Bach - St. Matthew Passion
“Perhaps it's because the Matthew Passion is a grander telling, perhaps it's because singers and orchestra have now worked harder to knit words and music, but this performance came closer than any I've experienced to achieving that essential communal, cumulative power: how fitting that the eight singers and 35 players took their bows together...And there were still those exquisite moments of spine-tingling Bach magic. Padmore's Evangelist was the febrile heart of the evening. Roderick Williams achieved great simplicity as an honest, humbled Jesus, and the young singers Robert Murray and Laura Mitchell impressed with their pliant, grateful lyricism. But the star that shone the brightest was the mezzo Christianne Stotijn, whose tender yet impassioned singing got to the very heart of what this Passion was all about.”
The Times, April 2009, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Mark Padmore
CD: Tchaikovsky Romances
"What genuinely places Christianne Stotijn apart from the vast majority of her colleagues is ... a genuinely unique expressivity based around a seemingly deep understanding of the text and musical structures. The myriads of moods and colours she applies to these Tchaikovsky songs are quite extraordinary, always emphasizing the words and clearly chosing expressivity over beauty of tone, when faced with the choice. Highly recommended."
Mostlyopera.com, February 2009
Schubert, Berg, Wolf (ONYX)
“Among young mezzo-sopranos, Christianne Stotijn is in a class apart; she stamps every note and word with character, and delivers her songs with a lyrical glow that considerably advances global warming.
This Tchaikovsky selection rolls happily through plangent love dramas and comic folk tales, through Tolstoy poems and Goethe too. Whatever the song, Stotijn sings from the heart to the heart. Praise too for Julius Drake, a deft piano accompanist."
The Times, January 2009
Schubert, Berg, Wolf (ONYX)