Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Unquiet Man

One of Paavo's frequent collaborators, German baritone Matthias Goerne, is profiled in the article The Unquiet Man by Anne Midgette in the March 2006 issue of Opera News. An excerpt:
It doesn’t take long to notice that there’s a restlessness about Goerne, a shifting burden of minor contradictions that can’t quite be resolved. On the one hand, he wants a normal life: two weeks a month at home with his six-year-old daughter, Mathilda; distance from the politics and, often, smallness of the music world. On the other hand, he guards his self-definition as an artist almost jealously, underlining the myriad ways in which it sets him slightly apart from the crowd.

On the one hand, he seems to be searching constantly for worthy artistic partners, recording lieder with pianists such as Alfred Brendel, Leif Ove Andsnes and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, extolling conductors such as Christoph von Dohnányi, Paavo Järvi and Seiji Ozawa (a surprising group right there). On the other hand, he is assertive about going his own way artistically: he’s looking for sparring partners rather than mentors. He is his own ultimate artistic arbiter, making his own decisions, teaching himself his own music. “I haven’t had a single voice lesson in eighteen years,” he says. “And that hasn’t hurt me. On the contrary. I know myself better than any teacher.”

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