Two fairy-tale lovers and two singers in a Brahmsian cycle


Pursell, in a performance of impressive grandeur and depth, encapsulated each of these moments superbly. His singing was full of burnished colors, and he moved with assurance between the delicate lyricism of a song such as “Ruhe, Süssliebchen, im Schatten,” in which Peter sweetly sings Magelone to sleep in a leafy arbor, to the fiercely dramatic outbursts of the ensuing “Verzweiflung” (“Despair”), by which point things have started to go south for the two lovers. JOSHUA KOSMAN