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Leeds Lieder Festival Closing Recital

Mai 2022

mit Joseph Middleton

„This was the final recital of a weekend crammed with stunning performances of wonderful songs, and it was a fitting conclusion.  Those who have heard recitals by Festival's President, Elly Ameling, will surely agree that Hillebrand possessess a very similar voice and communicative ability to those of the great Dutch soprano.  Ameling stunned me with her singing of 'Was bedeutet die Bewegung' many years ago at the Edinburgh Festival, and the auidence here reacted in the same way on hearing Hillebrand begin the evening with Schubert's 'Romanze aus Roseamunde'. She has it all - warm, sweet tone, elegant phrasing, and sensitivity to nuances of language; add to that the facts that she is stunningly beautiful and has a winning stage manner, and you'll see why she is already a star.“

„Although the programme focused on songs of love and longing, she found space for lighter moments with 'An die Laute' and 'Die Männer sind mechant' both wittily characterized and accompanied with seemingly insouciant skill.  In contrast, Brahms' 'Da unten im Tale' and 'Wiegenlied' had the kind of gentleness only achievable with secure technique and perfcet legato.“

„The all-Strauss second half was full of treasurable musical experiences, chief among which was a rare outing for 'Allerseelen', given a genuinely touching performance, the repeated 'Wie einst im Mai' evoking tears just as it should The programme close, 'Morgen' was a model of exquistite singing and beautifully judged playing.  Of course, we wanted more, and they provided it with a stunning rendition of (Brittens) 'The Last Rose of Summer'.“

„a new goddess of opera“


„Sunday evening's sensational Leeds Lieder Festival closing concert, received with stamping of feet and yelps of delight, marked Hillebrand's UK recital debut.“


„Hillebrand and Middleton's programme of Schubert, Brahms and Richard Strauss was impeccably projected.  The young soprano's musicality and natural ease shone through.  Her voice has a luinous and gleaming quality, equally at home in Schubert and Brahms Lieder as in the long phrases and highwire coloratura passages of R. Strauss.“

„It was an occasion that none present will forget, enhanced by the presence of pianist Joseph Middleton on top form.“


„Hillebrand offered a heady mix of Schubert, Brahms and Strauss.  She is the complete package, a lovely well-focused sound allied to charming presence and the ability to penetrate right to the heart of a song within a few bars, helped by a wide range of facial expressions.“


„Conversely, she remains rooted to the spot and makes sparing use of hand gestures.  Any young singer considering a career in lieder would do well to emulate her technique in all these areas.“


„They (Strauss' Mädchenblumen Op 22) are little heard because of their taxingly high tessitura, bit in Hillebrand's hands they were pure magic, seemingly posing no difficulties; she negotiated them so smoothly that the vocal lines carried a marvellous inevitability.  Cornflowers, poppies, ivy, waterlily, she caressed them all playfully.“


„This was a highly auspicious debut, which must surely lead to many invitations to return to this country“

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