In performance: Alice Coote
There were a lot of bucolic songs on this program. The moon was featured prominently and frequently in the texts as were forests, boats and early-morning outings. Their settings, as one might expect, were simple and sometimes folk-like, and Coote never overwhelmed them. She used her considerable resources with consummate musicality, building scenes with the subtlety of a painter rather than the vividness of an opera singer. Her softest lines spoke powerfully, and she was able to ratchet up intensity without ever becoming aggressive.
Most of that period's big guns were represented -- Elgar, Quilter, Stanford, Warlock and Vaughan Williams. But there were also pieces by relative unknowns -- Maude Valerie White, Graham Peel and two whose songs were particularly appealing, Liza Lehmann and Ivor Gurney. Gurney's "Lights Out" ended the evening with a quiet unresolved cadence, and in "From the Diary of Virginia Woolf" by Dominick Argento (the only non-Edwardian on the program), Coote sang with exquisite dramatic timing.
Bradley Moore accompanied with assurance and attention to balance and detail.
-- Joan Reinthaler
| November 7, 2010; 11:44 PM ET
Categories: local reviews
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Posted by: rogerg2 | November 8, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse