A vocal recital that is well planned and well sung can leave the listener feeling inspired and replete. Such was the case at soprano Raquel González' graduation recital at Juilliard. She demonstrated poise and linguistic skills beyond her years, singing equally well in six languages. In spite of her lovely presentation, she demonstrated more involvement with the songs than with herself. This was achieved with an economy of gesture and fine diction.
In the Mozart aria which opened the program, one could appreciate her lovely liquid trill and resonant upper register. A fine French style was achieved in selections from Debussy's Ariettes Oubliées. Two selections by Liszt followed with our favorite being "Die Lorelei", a setting of poetry by Heinrich Heine.
A wistful "Ain't it a Pretty Night" from Carlisle Floyd's Susannah was followed by four Tchaikovsky songs; we adore Tchaikovsky's way with melody and especially loved the song that Ms. González translated herself in which she let loose with some passionate singing. As encore we were thrilled to hear her sing in Spanish--an aria from José Serrano's zarzuela Los Claveles.
We enjoyed enormously the piano partnering of Julius Abrahams who is also graduating; he was always supportive and never overwhelmed Ms. González. It is always thrilling to hear young talent at the early stages of their careers and are looking forward to hearing more from these two gifted artists.
(c) meche kroop