“Quand surgit l’étrange voix de Nathalie Stutzmann, l’émotion est à son comble”

Resmusica.com | Jacques Schmitt

Le Festival de Verbier clôt brillament sa vingt-troisième édition avec la Symphonie n° 3 de Gustav Mahler admirablement dirigée par un Michael Tilson Thomas inspiré et un Verbier Festival Orchestra au faîte de sa musicalité. (…) Quand de la harpe suivie de l’effleurement des violoncelles surgit l’étrange voix de Nathalie Stuzmann, l’émotion est à son comble. Lançant son O Mensch ! Gib acht ! à l’unisson des cors et des trombones, la contralto, elle aussi transportée dans le bouleversement de cette musique, se mêle à l’orchestre pour en être un autre instrument confondu.

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Nathalie Stutzmann, la voix profonde du frisson baroque

Le Matin Dimanche | Jean-Jacques Roth

© Simon FowlerContralto I Allez sur YouTube, cherchez Nathalie Stutzmann et l’air de Bach «Erbarme dich», tiré de la Passion selon saint Matthieu: ce que la contralto française fait de cette déploration légendaire est au-delà des mots. Ce n’est pas seulement le timbre de cette voix grave, aux somptueuses teintes fauves. Ce n’est pas seulement le souffle sans fin qui semble la porter. Il passe ici une vibration exceptionnelle: une intensité expressive, une sensualité spirituelle qui allument un brasier dans l’âme du plus endurci des auditeurs. Nathalie Stutzmann est au faîte d’une carrière immense, qui l’a vue participer à une soixantaine d’enregistrements, avec une prédilection pour les compositeurs baroques. Elle se produit à Genève en compagnie de l’ensemble Orfeo 55 qu’elle a fondé en 2009, et qu’elle dirige en même temps qu’elle chante, au profit de Theodora, la fondation qui soulage par le rire les enfants hospitalisés. Le programme est celui de son récent album, entièrement consacré à Haendel et à ses «héros de l’ombre», ceux-là même auxquels sa voix des profondeurs donne une vie si frémissante. Genève, Victoria Hall, le 28 mai à 20 h, www.billetterie-culture.ville-ge.ch

Impressive work from Stutzmann and Gomyo with the SLSO

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Sarah Bryan Miller

© Monte Carlo Opera

© Monte Carlo Opera

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra had a full house Friday morning at Powell Symphony Hall for the final coffee concert of the 2016-17 season, and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts ran out well before curtain. The near-capacity crowd heard some fine music-making from a debut conductor, a returning soloist and the orchestra.

The originally announced conductor, Jakub Hrusa, and his wife were to have a date with the stork around about now, and he withdrew from the weekend’s concerts last month. Happily, Nathalie Stutzmann was available. Stutzmann, an internationally renowned French contralto, has been steadily building a second career as a conductor in the last decade.

It’s easy to see why she’s met with such success. Stutzmann is spirited and engaged, seems easy to follow, and has a good feel for finding the right tempo. She shares well with others: On Friday morning, at the conclusion of the curtain-raiser, Felix Mendelssohn’s “The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave),” she waited to give a well-deserved solo bow to principal clarinet Scott Andrews before turning around to acknowledge the applause herself. I can’t remember another time when I’ve witnessed that. This was a welcome debut in every way.

Violinist Karen Gomyo last performed with the SLSO in 2008, when she nearly set the stage alight with her fiery playing. The Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor is filled with more Northern storms than the Southern heat of the works on her last program here, but it still calls for a virtuoso, and Gomyo is that. There was a little awkwardness at the end of the cadenza in the first movement (on whose part it was hard to tell), but she gave a thrilling, vivid performance that had the audience leaping to its feet for a prolonged and well-deserved ovation. (An encore would not have been amiss.)

Stutzmann and the orchestra largely matched Gomyo’s achievement, accompanying and building the mood in assured fashion. There were some tonal issues from time to time throughout the symphony when all four French horns were playing at once, but otherwise every section was strong.

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Stutzmann brings a seductive Tristan Prelude to Ireland

Bachtrack | Andrew Larkin


“(…) I experienced such a glorious revelation. This was thanks in large part to the superlative musicianship of conductor, Nathalie Stutzmann conducting a responsive NSO.”

Wagner – Overture to Tannhäuser:
“A beloved operatic overture, Wagner’s Tannhäuser is full of glorious tunes which Queen Victoria, when she heard it for the first time, described as “quite overpowering […] and in parts wild”. Stutzmann downplayed the wild parts as she sought to bring out the inner subtleties of the gossamer music of Venus, drawing expressively shaped phrases and warm sounds from the string section. (…) Stutzmann deliberately held back the crescendos to great effect while the overall lighter texture of the overture allowed the merriment to show through.”

Wagner – Prélude and Liebestod:
“Stutzmann delicately crafted the musical line as the crescendo ebbed from section of the orchestra to the other. This was a slow, seductive reading with the melody wooing us, overpowering us as it lingered on exquisite dissonances producing a frisson of desire. (…) I credit Stutzmann with this superlative interpretation as she dared the cellos to take a fraction of extra time and as she drew a smouldering antiphonal response between woodwind and strings.”

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National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah at The Kennedy Center

DCMetroTheaterArts | Em Skow

But the performance’s star in my opinion was Nathalie Stutzmann with the conductor’s baton. Guided by her immensely expressive direction, both the voice and orchestra parts rose and fell with unmatched sensitivity. The iconic Hallelujah’s chorus crescendoed so organically it was startling, and “Wonderful, Counselor” bloomed into the rafters with the urging of her wide movements. The undivided attention she commanded and respect she has so clearly earned from those in front (and behind) her was equally as moving.

The evening’s program notes summarized her as rigor and fantasy embodied in a conduct and I have to agree. It would do her a disservice to say she just connected to the layers of the work, or even to say that she moved others to do the same. The piece shown through her, radiating from her fingertips, dancing through her toes, bouncing through her arms, shoulders, and legs to the floor where even she had to hold on to the rail to steady herself at times. For her, three dimensions weren’t enough to conduct with and her level of passion was truly an honor to witness.

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