Liederabend with Breslik

Pavol Breslik

Published: July 9, 2013

MUNICH — With the brightness of his voice working against him at every turn, Pavol Breslik blazed and sweated his way through Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin last Friday (July 5) here at the Prinz-Regenten-Theater. By the end, drowned in Wilhelm Müller’s creek, he had somehow won over the packed house.

Tension built up often disagreeably. Six or seven of the twenty songs were rushed. Breaks for bottled water upheld a stagey tautness, and yes, nervousness. But in reflective settings, once the voice had warmed up, the neatly groomed lyric tenor found beauty and tonal variety. Des Müllers Blumen and Tränenregen, already at the cycle’s mid-point, introduced the first degrees of poignancy and due expression. Not until Der Müller und der Bach and the concluding lullaby, however, did Breslik imaginatively tap the tension instead of adding more, leading to rapt applause.

Born in Slovakia in 1979, with early training at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica, this artist delivers a smooth Belmonte or ardent Lensky on other nights. He can immerse himself in a long musical line and endow it with supple legato phrasing. On this night he took no artistic shortcuts, betrayed no mannerisms, and seemed genuinely lost in the moment during much of the cycle. His sung German sounded fluent; he is clearly passionate about the words he sings. Only when he spoke (about bottled water) was an accent discernible.

Amir Katz, born in 1973 in Ramat Gan, Israel, provided cagey, fleet support, which seemed a reasonable approach — perhaps the only approach — given Breslik’s avid absorption.

Photo © Neda Navee

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