From Bill's Desk

Pianist Daniil Trifonov and baritone Matthias Goerne join forces for one of only two recitals in the United States this season! Learn about these two world-class musicians from McCarter’s Special Programming Director, Bill Lockwood.

A Super Collaboration!

What’s better than one superstar? How about two in joint recital? That’s what McCarter has on Sunday, February 4 at 3pm, when pianist Daniil Trifonov and baritone Matthias Goerne join forces for one of only two recitals in the United States this season (the other is at Carnegie Hall, so we’re in good company)! Traditionally, the pianist’s role in a vocal recital is thought of as being that of “accompanist,” and the focus is primarily on the singer. But when the pianist involved is a renowned artist in his own right, the equation changes and the concert takes on an entirely different dimension.

On the world’s opera stages and in its concert halls, Matthias Goerne is one of the reigning baritones and occupies his own pantheon among today’s singers. Whether you visit the Met or La Scala or Covent Garden or Vienna or Paris, his presence is ubiquitous, and you are bound to encounter him in one of the roles he has made his own, from the operas of Wagner (The Ring Cycle, Parsifal) and Strauss (Elektra, Salome) to the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. His song recitals with Ashkenazy and Brendel are long-standing Grammy nominees, and nothing says it better than citing two of his legendary teachers: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau, the two artists who literally defined the art song in our time.

The New York Times said it perfectly: “Few artists have burst onto the classical music scene in recent years with the incandescence of the pianist Daniil Trifonov.” His spectacular ascent as a solo recitalist, champion of the concerto repertoire and a collaborator in chamber music (with violinist Gidon Kremer at McCarter in 2015 and now with Goerne) have left audiences in utter awe. He is still only 25, but plays with consummate technique and rare sensitivity far beyond his years. Trifonov plays everything with everyone around the world. There is no better way to describe his impact on the classical music world as “the most astounding pianist of our age” (London Times).  And like those of Goerne, his CDs should be on every serious collector’s shelf, starting with his first, the live recording of his Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 (Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital) and continuing with his latest pair (Chopin Evocations  and Liszt’s complete Transcendental Etudes).

Their program will include one of the staples of the repertoire, Schumann’s great song cycle  Dichterliebe, plus groups of songs by Hugo Wolf and Alban Berg, both set to poems of Michelangelo, and the Four Serious Songs by Brahms. And lest you think the piano part in these works is that of a mere “accompanist,” the pianist’s responsibility is just as challenging as that for the singer, which is exactly why these two artists make a perfect match.

Yes, Sunday February 4 is Superbowl Sunday, but since our “super concert” is at 3pm, you football fans will be home in plenty of time for the kickoff—even allowing for the inevitable encores!


February 4, 2018 - 3pm

Daniil Trifonov, piano & Matthias Goerne, baritone

Here’s the duo of the season—the hottest pianist on the planet joining forces with the baritone of the moment. After winning both the Tchaikovsky and the Arthur Rubinstein competitions in 2012, Daniil Trifonov has steadily climbed every musical Everest in his path. Next season, he will be Carnegie Hall’s “Artist in Residence,” curating seven different programs. Matthias Goerne continues to conquer opera stages the world over, and his resume covers every major role in the repertoire.