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.

Monday, November 5, 2012


The Young Franz Schubert

We are finding each recital of this series better than the one before.  Yesterday's program by Schubert&Co. showed the master at his most lyrical--having set works by Goethe, Salis-Seewis and James Macpherson.  And not a single lied was familiar to us!

The three singers excelled in their interpretation.  Soprano Raquel Gonzalez opened the program with a half-dozen settings of poetry by Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis.  The deep feelings of this set of songs--largely joyful with tinges of melancholy--were communicated in many colors.  Ms. Gonzalez has a lovely vibrato throughout her range and sang with a generosity of spirit that filled the heart.  Her superb piano partner was Lachlan Glen; one could not miss the gurgling spring in "Der J√ľngling an der Quelle", D.300.

The program continued with some settings of poetry by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, sung by mezzo-soprano Rachael Wilson accompanied on the piano by Jonathan Ware.  Ms. Wilson was noted for her nearly Italianate legato and beautiful phrasing.  In "Wonne der Wehmut" Mr. Ware alternatively conveyed movement and suspense.

His pianism was even more expressive in the lengthy ballad "Der Tod Oscars", D.375, a sad tale composed by James Macpherson who may or may not have written the work himself.  Some claim that it was written by the Celtic Ossian but the scholarship is in doubt.  Baritone Michael Kelly is a remarkable story-teller with superb diction such that every word and phrase were intelligible.  His tone is sweet and light in the upper register.  We were transfixed.

We are already anticipating the next recital in the series.

(c) meche kroop

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