Yesterday’s Mazzoleni Songmasters recital featured the relatively unusual combination of soprano Monica Whicher accompanied by Judy Loman on harp. It was a very well constructed and executed afternoon of song. Each set had something to offer.Th first set was of English songs of the 16th and 17th centuries including the very lovely O Death Rock Me Asleep attributed, almost certainly inaccurately, to Anne Boleyn. All very touching and harp seeming very appropriate for songs which were likely intended for lute accompaniment.
Then there was Mahler and Strauss. The Mahler songs were drawn from the comparatively rarely heard Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit while the Strauss pieces were very familiar songs from op. 10 and op. 27. Monica seemed on particularly fine form here and with the added bonus of the unfamiliar harp arrangements who could not love the likes of Allerseelen and Zueignung?
After the break we got some well known Italian numbers and a solo for Judy; Marcel Tournier’s Dans une atmosphère fiévreuse de nocturne. Watching this I’m astonished anyone can play the harp at all, let alone as beautifully as Judy. Ravel followed before a final set of Britten folk song arrangements including, appropriately enough, David of the White Rock (In English but still…). The encore was in the same vein; She’s Like the Swallow. All in all agreat way to spend a not very inviting Sunday afternoon.
Mazzoleni Songmasters has become one of my favourite recital series and this season has been very fine. Next season looks every bit as good. There are three concerts:
- November 24th 2019 features Adrianne Pieczonka
- January 26th 2020 will be Leslie Ann Bradley and Allyson McHardy
- April 19th 2020 is a bit special featuring Beethoven from Russell Braun and, in a new partnership with CASP, Miriam Khalil singing a new piece by Afarin Mansouri
More details later I hope.
Sorry about the rather rubbish picture…