First I would like to thank all of the kind listers who wrote me in regards
to this recital. Your help and advice are greatly appreciated.
Onto the program.
Let the Bright Seraphim, from "Samson" G.F. Handel
Frulingslied, Op.8 No.6 Felix Mendelssohn
Bei er Wiege, Op.17. No. 2
Neue Liebe, Op. 19 No.4 (inverted with above selection)
Auf Flugeln des Gesanges, Op.34 No.2
All mein Gedanken, From Schlichte Weisen, Op.21, No.1 R. Strauss
Muttertandelei Op.43 No.2
Schlechtes Wetter, Op. 69, No.5
Standchen, from Sechs Lieder, Op. 17, No.2
Ah Tardai troppo . . O Luce di Quest'Anima from Linda di Chamounix G.
Mananita di San Juan from Seis Canciones Castellanas Jesus Guridi
La Rosa y el Sauce Carlos
Chiquitita la Novia
Fernando J. Obradors
At this point two spirituals were performed that weren't listed in the
program in memory of Bernice Poss as this was a memorial concert sponsored
anually by her family. The spiritual were Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and
Return to program.
Great Day arr. Thomas Kerr
City Called Heavin arr. Hall Johnson
Witness arr. Hale Smith
Allelujia W.A. Mozart.
Ms. Battle walked onstage in a stunning black velvet gown that revealed her
beautiful arms and shoulders with only slight shoulder straps. She carried
with her a pink stoal which worked wonderfully. She immediately engaged the
audience with her lovely presence and winning smile. The opening selection
was sung carefully but brilliantly. Such a difficult opening number and
still it was wonderful. The voice immediately struck me. Beautifully
projected was that amazing tone that is so destinctive. I immediately knew
that I was in the presence of a world class artist. And what art there was
in Ms. Battle's singing. Her delivery was masterful; not only in the
coloratura, but also in the lieder. She took a moment between songs to set
the mood which she did with great skill. The mendelssohn songs were
delivered with such attention to text that even if one only knows very
little german (like me) the translations in the program become superfluous.
When she began the third song in the set, she stopped after the first line
and graciously explained that she was dry due to her last concert which was
in the desert and at 7000 ft. elev. No matter though, the voice was
sounding closer to 30 than 50. I am not familiar with the Strauss so I will
only say that they were sung beautifully.
After Intermission came O Luce di Quest'anima. It was as secure and fresh
as on the broadcast from the Met years ago. In this piece she shone,
deliveing flawless runs and amazing trills. She also turned up the decibals
when required by the music. The breath was secure and the tone like finely
spun gold. Where Auf Flugeln des gesanges made me weep, this piece gave me
goosebumps. In this piece especially I felt the accompanist Ted Taylor, was
wonderful. The spanish selections were great, allowing Ms. Battle to sing,
at times, in soft low tones that were creamy smooth and completely
entrancing. The spirituals were delivered with great verve and, as with the
rest of the program the diction was crisp and consonants were used to great
benefit creating seamless legato throughout. In fact the whole recital was
a lesson in legato singing. Mozart's Alleluja was the encore and it found
in Ms. Battle the ideal interpreter. Not a hint of aspirate was to be found
in the difficult runs and trills. In fact, I dare say, it was . . .
Throughout the entire program Ms. Battle was enthralling. Her artistry sets
a standard that we would all be extremely blessed to achieve. I know there
are those out there who will laugh and scorn simply because this is Kathleen
Battle but, I don't care. What I experienced last night was a consumate
artist in full bloom singing with beauty and skill tat is all too rare
I tried to meet her at the back entrance after the recital but I missed her.
That's okay. I will carry the memory of the evening with me forever and
when I am older and complaining the that the artists of that time are not as
amazing as the artists of my youth, I will always have Kathleen Battle as an
argument. I am under her spell and am in no need of exorcism. I am happily
Shane M. Glabb
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