I finally realized what it is I find torturous about piano+voice recitals, and not by going to a bad one, quite the opposite. Though also not out of sheer amusement at Karita Mattila telling her hairdresser, apparently, "Make me look as much like the blond Cylon that's not Xena, Warrior Princess as possible." That was just a bit of lagniappe.
I'll have to let someone else tell you how she does with Barber or Hugo Wolff, not that I didn't enjoy them, but lieder feel faintly like a lecture to me. What I can tell you about is the riveting thing she did with the Turina songs on the program, which basically involved a bodily connection with the songs you sometimes see in opera but almost never in recital--the most recent example of this I could ponit you to off the operatic stage was Bjork in the Meredith Monkathon at Zankel, doing the little playful/intense maybe self-indulgent yoga-meets-charades she does as she sang "Gotham Lullaby." That's right, I just compared Karita Mattila to Bjork, and there's nothing you or Matthew Barney can do about it.
Mattila danced. Not a stationary swaying, either, the deliberate marker of "oh yeah, I'm feelin' it." Not KM. She lifted her arms and moved around and threw her midsection into it. It was unexpected, a little bit insane, and enthralling.
Among her encores, "The Man I Love" which though you may not have known it, is subtitled, "Dear Renee Fleming, This is How you Sing a Standard."