Yesterday’s lunchtime concert in the RBA featured two members of the Ensemble Studio. Andrew Haji, standing in for an indisposed Charles Sy, and Jennifer Szeto performed Liszt’s Tre Sonetti di Petrarca. These songs were unfamiliar to me and came as a pleasant surprise. They are very Italianate and very operatic and have a pretty involved piano part (unsurprisingly). Haji displayed his uncanny ability to find exactly the right idiom for the music and sang with beauty and expression as well as nailing the three high D flats. Szeto was a most accomplished accompanist. Great dress too! New Yorkers can catch these two in the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration at Carnegie Hall on Saturday where they will perform the same music.
The main event was Gordon Bintner’s performance of Schumann’s Liederkreis accompanied by Liz Upchurch. This was Gordon’s last appearance in the RBA as an Ensemble Studio member though there is still one more chance to see him on stage in the Ensemble Studio’s performance of The Marriage of Figaro on February 22. He’s become a very fine singer. The various moods of Heine’s texts were well conveyed through singing that ranged from dramatic to wistful. It was an impressively mature performance for a young singer. Liz, as expected, was extremely good and very supportive. Good stuff!
Photo credit: Lara Hintelmann