|Emalie Savoy and Nimrod David Pfeffer|
The program opened with Poulenc's Banalités which gave this dazzling soprano an opportunity to explore many moods from the languor of "Hôtel" to the sadness of "Sanglots" to the utter joy of "Voyage à Paris", the latter being our personal favorite. We were ready to go home and pack our bags!
Hugo Wolf's Mignonlieder was sung with intensity and dramatic artistry; one could feel a deep connection with the tragic character from Goethe's 1795 novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Ms. Savoy's German diction was just as fine as her French. This set of songs also gave collaborative pianist Nimrod David Pfeffer an opportunity to play a stunning postlude in "Mignon III" and to indulge in some wildly powerful playing in "Kennst du das Land".
The final set was Samuel Barber's Hermit Songs. We especially enjoyed Ms. Savoy's warmth in "St. Ita's Vision", the lightheartedness of "The Heavenly Banquet", the terror of "Sea Snatch", the humor of the brief "Promiscuity" and the gentle "The Monk and His Cat". With her expressivity of voice and gesture, each song had great character. Mr. Pfeffer's piano was no less expressive. There was a bone-chilling eerie quality in "The Crucifixion" and he made the roaring of the sea audible in "Sea Snatch" as well as the pouncing of the cat in "The Monk and His Cat".
As encore, Ms. Savoy and Mr. Pfeffer let loose with "Il est doux, il est bon" from Massenet's Hérodiade; he played some marvelously articulated rolling chords and she stunned us with a huge high note at the climax.
One may no longer consider this prize-winning artist an emerging artist. To our ears, she is now a fully fledged star. Another triumph for the Lindemann program.
© meche kroop