The World of Yesterday

Yesterday’s lunchtime concert was my second chance in just over a week to see Erin Wall in recital, in a completely different program from the Mazzoleni gig.  There were three sets.  First up were Korngold’s Three Songs Op.22.  I’m all for more German songs in recitals, especially someone other than the Schus, but I wasn’t really taken with these.  They seem closer to the later film music in style than to, say Die tote Stadt.  They got the operatic treatment from Erin which is probably not a bad thing here.


Debussy’s Proses lyriques followed.  These are very Debussy.  He even wrote the rather weird texts.  This is typical:

Venez! Venez! Les mains salvatrices!
Brisez les vitres de mensonge,
Brisez les vitres de maléfice,
Mon âme meurt de trop de soleil!

This verse gets the full on dramatic treatment although generally the piano part is intricate and impressionistic and was beautifully handled by Sandra Horst.  I think of the four songs I liked De grève most.  The text has some interesting imagery and atmospheric music.  Erin was a bit less operatic here but it was still very “heart on sleeve”.

Erin saved the best until the end.  The last set was four Duparc songs; L’invitation au voyage, Extase, Au pays ou se fait la guerre and Chanson triste.  They are quite beautiful and sit really nicely for Erin (rather like the music in Arabella in that regard) so that she was able to combine beauty of tone with her dramatic presentation to good effect.

Photo credit: Chris Hutcheson

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