1001 Nights with Miriam Khalil

Yesterday’s lunchtime concert in the RBA was a song recital with an Oriental(ist) theme by polyglot soprano Miriam Khalil and pianist Topher Mokrzewski.  It kicked off with the two Suleika songs by Schubert to texts by Marianne von Willimer.  For my taste Miriam’s voice and treatment of the songs was decidedly on the dramatic side.  It was interesting and there’s no doubting the commitment but it’s not my favourite way to hear Schubert.  It was all uphill from there though.  Ravel’s Shéherazade; Debussy inspired music to texts by Tristan Klingsor, was given an equally dramatic treatment, and Miriam is very dramatic in both voice and body language,  but here it worked for me, especially the passionate invocation of the invented East in Asie.

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