We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City's invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The second installment of Schubert&Co's extensive production of Schubert's lieder output (600 + songs) focused on the poetry of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and what poetry it is!  One could sense Schubert channeling the voice of this poetic genius of the sturm und drang school.  We are happily in an irony-free zone here and free to revel in innocence, love and sehnsucht

Accompanied by the sensitive piano partner Lachlan Glen, who seemed to breathe right along with her, was emerging artist Raquel Gonzalez, presently pursuing her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School and previously much admired as an undergraduate.  This young woman is totally performance ready, poised and accomplished, able to connect with the material which she clearly loves and also with the audience.  All the songs were delivered with dramatic sincerity and superlative technique.  Her voice has a beautiful resonance and a ping at the top that tickles the ear.

We especially enjoyed the program opener, "Heidenröslein".  Ms. Gonzalez told the tale of the little rose who tried to defend herself from the lad intent on plucking her; she told it with much variety of mood from one verse to the next and somehow managed to subtly convey the sexual subtext.

Mr. Glen, as an added bonus, read to us from Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther to give us a flavor of the period during which emotions were strong--joy, longing and despair infused Goethe's work.  We particularly enjoyed Mr. Glen's pianism in "An die Entfernte" when the two hands alternate.  The longing for the absent lover was palpable.

The program ended with the highly melodic "An den Mond".  Due to artist indisposition, not all the Goethe songs were sung which gives us another opportunity in the future to hear more of the glorious partnership between two great artists--the poet and the composer.

(c) meche kroop

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