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The Vocal Recital Abides – The Boston Musical Intelligencer – Lyric Say

Although final night time’s intimate Vaughan Williams vocal recital started with a duet of “a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino” (Shakespeare), the lovers and the lasses of candy spring love quickly made approach for ponderers on spiritual and metaphysical stuffs throughout Boston Art Song Society’s go to to Somerville Music Spaces.

True to the mission of presenting “intimate salon-style concerts…to encourage diverse audiences to engage more deeply with poetry and music in an unpretentious, casual settings,” baritone Dana Whiteside, tenor Ethan DePuy, and pianist Julia Scott Carey invited us right into a home sized music room for a thematically constant “journey past the highest heights imaginable” (5 Mystical Songs), treading paths of the idyllic English countryside (On Wenlock Edge), and at last trying again on a well-lived lifetime via the misty-eyed wanderer (Songs of Journey).

We very a lot desire this form of vocal recital to the ‘hey, look at me’ manufacturers that celebrities ship in overly colourful bouquets of languages, intervals, and kinds. “Silent Noon” possessed the consistency and inevitability of a concert-filling cycle like Die Winterreise, giving extra consideration to the phrases and music than to the performers themselves.

The threesome launched themselves with “It was a Lover and A Lass” (1921) to a textual content from As You Like It. Whiteside intoned like an old-master painted: varnished burnt umber relieved by shafts of sunshine. He largely stood with proper leg ahead and palms clasped—dignified and cautious of extra gestures. DePuy made extra of a degree of promoting the songs with a sensible have an effect on, BBC English, gestural vocabulary, and he checked out people within the crowd. His pinging shiny tenor considerably overwhelmed the confines of the small dry room, however it sounded recent and vigorous. Each approaches had advantage. Carey remodeled the well-voiced Steinway B into peals of bells and hurricane-force storms when she wasn’t embracing her companions as a co-observer of the altering moods. Her added Rondo and Pezzo ostinato from the featured composer’s Suite of 6 Brief Items revealed her consolation as soloist and her elevated chops.

Whiteside delivered the 5 Mystical Songs (1906 – 1911) to texts by the 17th-century Anglican priest George Herbert as a worshipful éminence grise and gloriously baritonal prophet. No. IV known as us to the spirit of affection’s reality and light-weight with transferring conviction.  The ultimate command to “Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing…” met with unanimous approval.

The collaboration of DePuy and Carey in On Wenlock Edge left us a bit nostalgic for the lacking string quartet within the authentic model, however in some ways in which lacuna introduced characterization into focus and drew consideration away from the merely nice string-toned surroundings. DePuy, in sensible voice, expressively outgoing slightly than inward-lookiing, underlined as a well-informed tour information.

Whiteside’s vulnerably and fully anti-thespian strategy to the Songs of Journey (set to 9 of the 44 poems from Robert Louis Stevenson’s namesake assortment) made probably the most profound impression of the night. Hotter of tone than earlier than the intermission, he celebrated a life nicely lived with a conviction that introduced tears to many people, particularly within the one more-or-less-strophic variety of the live performance—the massive hit tune,“Whither Music I Wander.”  Wiki’s (uncredited writer) concluded that “The last song, ‘I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Path,’ was added to the cycle posthumously: This song recapitulates the whole cycle in just four phrases that form a miniature scena of recitative and arioso, quoting four of the previous songs in the cycle, before ending with the opening chords, suggesting that the traveler’s journey continues forever, even in death.”

DePuy’s somewhat-harmonized duet of the grasp’s “Silent Noon” (to a Rossetti poem) closed the radiantly somber night:

Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for the deathless dower
This close-companioned inarticulate hour when twofold silence was the track of affection.

We absorbed the glowing nostalgia and unabashed romanticism with nice pleasure, however we’d be remiss if we didn’t name out two minor irritants. Due to actually unusual column orientations, the libretto required a number of complicated de capo’s. And if the singers want to remove boundaries between stage and home, they should memorize.

Lee Eiseman is the writer of the Intelligencer

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