Morphology of Desire

To Mazzoleni Hall yesterday to hear Christina Campsall’s graduating recital.  I think over the course of the year she has become my “top tip” for this year’s graduating class at the Conservatory and nothing that happened yesterday did anything to shake that judgement. It was a pretty intense program that was definitely more shade than light but that, I think, rather suits her voice.  The opening set, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, was a case in point.  Dark, brooding texts, dark, brooding music and a dark, brooding voice with plenty of power.  We have a mezzo here not a second soprano!  That said, her high notes are all there and there seems to be plenty of power all through the registers, though to be fait I’ve only seen her once in a large hall and that was in operetta.  Very good German too with a distinct northern inflection.  All the consonants!

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La voix humaine

Poulenc’s La voix humaine is a monodrama for voice and rather large orchestra based on a play by Jean Cocteau.  There’s just the one character “Elle” and all we, the audience, hear, is one end of a telephone conversation between Elle and her, recently, ex-lover.  It’s a highly emotionally charged piece and not easy to pull off.  Last night, Christina Campsall and Brahm Goldhamer presented it in piano arrangement at Mazzoleni Hall with Oliver Klöter directing.  It’s a piece that needs directing too as, in a sense, not a lot happens.  It’s just a telephone call!

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