In review: Peter & Deutsch at Wigmore Hall

In review: Peter & Deutsch at Wigmore Hall

Jenna Simeonov

If he hadn’t caught our attention with his voice, Mauro Peter’s cheek-splitting grin was enough to fill Wigmore Hall during his recital with the great Helmut Deutsch.

The pair offered up a mostly German programme, full of Schumann and Strauss, and finishing with Liszt’s great 3 Sonetti del Petrarca. Together, Peter and Deutsch had the kind of relationship one would hope for between a young tenor and an experienced pianist; in fact, Peter was one of Deutsch’s last students in Munich, and there was a trust between them onstage. Peter brought a wide-eyed curiosity to these songs, yet he seemed too like an old soul; at times it felt as though he were playing the role of Robert Schumann.

Deutsch brought to the stage a lifetime of immersion in German Lieder, particularly in the Schumann songs. He helped Peter to bring out the songs’ unease, the sense chaos and unresolved ideas. They played with the amount of silence between songs, joining them tightly together or letting them breathe. Peter and Deutsch had a neat dynamic, crossing generations and perhaps performance styles; they paired together young enthusiasm with settled experience, and it made for really engrossing music.

Schumann’s Der Soldat and Strauss’ Mädchenblumen were two big highlights, and we loved how he gradually gave more and more voice, starting with the dense Schumann songs and ending with the indulgent Liszt. It was thrilling to hear Peter sing in Italian after so much German; all of a sudden, he had us thinking of Mozart’s Tito or even a young Alfredo.

Peter and Deutsch chose songs that were a blatant reminder of just how tender-hearted men can be, especially concerning the opposite sex. There seemed a theme of lavishing praise on women, and Peter had us convinced that he was a true heart-on-his-sleeve romantic.

Peter heads next to Zürich to sing Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Levente Molnár as Giovanni and Layla Claire as Donna Elvira, and then to Munich to sing Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Tara Erraught as Despina and Christopher Maltman as Don Alfonso. To stay in the loop, follow him on Facebook.

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