The first set, Fünf Lieder, Op. 15, comprises songs on which Richard Strauss cut his compositional teeth. They afforded Mr. Outlaw an opportunity to show off his fine German and his deep connection with both poetry and music, whether gentle or impassioned. And just listen to Mr. Jones go to town in "Aus den Liedern der Trauer"!
The second set comprised six songs by Ralph Vaughn Williams, composed in the first couple years of the 20th c. as House of Life, settings of sonnets by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. We admired Mr. Outlaw's unaffected English diction which made the songs more than usually accessible. Mr. Jones' piano might have been taken for a harp in "Love's Minstrels" and was exquisitely delicate in "Love-Sight".
The final set gave us three delightful songs by George Gershwin. Mr. Outlaw's jacket was abandoned and he allowed the jazzy nature of the works to get under his skin and down into his toes as he relaxed and moved around the stage. His performance of "Just Another Rhumba" was one of those unforgettable moments.
What a satisfying recital this was! In the immortal words of Ira Gershwin, "Who could ask for anything more?". But the audience did ask and Mr. Outlaw complied with some stirring gospel music sung largely a capella--"Fix Me Jesus". This brought the audience to their collective feet.
(c) meche kroop