Dear all, I am sorry for writing so late but I had to face some unexpected serious family problems when I got back home yesterday
Now: Brussels. The theatre is a big Classicist building with a richly decorated auditorium. It was full house, I heard some Russian speech, too, on the corridor.
Before the concert started a man came and asked the audience not to take photos. The audience behaved well, no latecomers, no cameras. No flowers ... somehow the atmosphere was "formal", not so warm and friendly. And here is some bad news: DH was probably not well. A Belgian friend of mine was there , she spoke with a man who was of DH's staff and this man told her so.
The program was very good, Tchaikovsky, Medtner, Liszt, Rachmaninov. DH needed time to warm up. First he sang the Tchaikovsky songs almost without nuances, on an evenly loud voice. Another friend of mine told that if he did not feel well this was the safe way to sing , otherwise his voice could have more easily cracked. Also Medtner's "I outlived my desires.." was a bit strange for me, very slow tempo, much slower than on the CD (of course this could be on purpose).
But once warmed up he made wonders !!!!! His voice was the snowstorm itself in Winter evening, then it became tender and loving when singing about the "starushka", then desperate again... The Wanderer's Nachtlied was the best I have ever heard! So deep resignation ... It brought tears to my eyes. The first "Bravos" came then. Then the drama of Pace non trovo, the tenderness of I vidi in terra... Then Rachmaninov, the gentle sadness of Lilacs, the rocking, melting lines of Do not sing to me, fair maiden... I do not know which song to pick out to praise more. I was spellbound. I felt I do not want this concert to end...But it became obvious that DH wanted to end it. He did not sing any encore, though the audience was enthusiastic and applauding endlessly. When he came out to bow last , he made that "cutting" gesture before his throat. I am afraid it is true that he was not well
. He is a hero
. I feel honoured I was there. I hope he is better now...