|Franz Schubert in Youth|
The program began and ended with the lovely Australian soprano Simone Easthope who delighted us with her shimmery voice that created a perfect picture in the mind's eye. We especially enjoyed "Daphne am Bach, D.411" which had a familiar sound, reminding us of "Die Forelle" and "Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D.774" a strophic lied with many shifts between major and minor, and the only song of the evening that we had previously heard.
Being introduced to tenor Nils Neubert was an unexpected treat. Mr. Neubert has an incredibly sweet voice and the choice of songs with sweet melodies was a wise one. We particularly enjoyed "Alles um Liebe, D.241" and observed that he had no trouble with the low notes at the ends of some of the other songs. We also enjoyed the optimism of "Der Blinde Knabe, D.833" and enjoyed his appealing vibrato.
Bass-baaritone Andrew Bogard has a sturdy voice and we loved the way he evinced some unexpected tenderness without sacrificing the tone, especially in the joyful song of love fulfilled "Das Finden D.219"; we also noted his way with humor in "Der Weiberfreund, D.271".
Soprano Julia Bullock sounded best in the relatively more cheerful songs "Morgenlied, D.266" and "Abendlied, D.276".
Mr. Glen was the piano partner for all four singers, playing with his customary sensitivity and terrific technique. His playing was most powerful in "Verklärung D.59" and most notable in the final piece "Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D.774" in which one could hear the waves and almost feel the water.
This was the only performance of the series to take place in the new Opera Center on Seventh Avenue. The room was perfectly intimate with superlative acoustics and a fine piano. We noticed several studios and performance spaces and would like to learn more about the space. Next Sunday's 6PM recital will return to Central Presbyterian Church at 64th and Park Avenue. Another winner, for sure!
(c) meche kroop