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Subject: Re: Dawn Upshaw LA Recital 3/15
From: Nakamura Akira <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 16 Mar 1998 22:56:17 +0900
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Doug and I went to the same Upshaw recital, cutily and tongue-in-cheekly
reviwed by Mark.

As she said on the stage, Upshaw was suffering from some kind of
allergy, and had to drop Griffes' _Three Poems of Fiona MacLeod_ and two
Rachmaninov songs.  However, she still sounded consistently "very
sweet."

MDGuenette wrote:

> I was so delighted to find that the Chandler staff had coordinated the color
> But these delights paled before Dawn Upshaw's exquisite performance.  She
> looked radiant in appliqued white, recalling something of the virginal candor
> she brings to the lovely songs she sings.  I must admit that I don't much care
> for Ives, but Dawn was so enchanting that I was almost charmed by the songs.
> I enjoyed the Griffes songs (in German, I think), especially Upshaw's touching
> acting.

Very funny, Mark.  I wasn't least bit impressed by her Ophelie-Lieder,
either.  She was too sweet and wholesome last night for Strauss's
somewhat modernistitic Lieder.
>
> I'm afraid that Harbison's Mirabai Songs were a little beyond me
> intellectually, but it's so good to be challenged when one goes to a concert!
>
> Only a singer as beautiful as Upshaw could make Strauss' Ophelia-Lieder sound
> as melodious as Schubert,

I thought that her Schubert programming, "Im Fruehling," "Du liebst mich
nicht," and "Der Musensohn," was a bit stange.  "Im Fruehling" was,
predictably, all sweetness.  Unabashedly sweet.  (Perhaps she has never
heard Elly Ameling's recordings.)  After emoting like mad, as if she
were about to hang herself because somebody didn't love poor Dawn, she
suddenly became a happy son of the Muse.  Because these Schbert Lieder
are so famous, and I have seen such Lieder singers as Ameling, Hermann
Prey, Edita Gruberova, Gundula Janowitz, Edith Mathis, etc. sing them
with a more "correct" style, Upshaw's down-to-earth approach, which
seems to personalize the songs, backfired, to the point of almost of
trivializing them.  I must say she belongs to the group of young emoting
singers, including Boje Skovhus and Wolfgang Holmair, both of whom
emoted like mad in Schubert in Tokyo.

and I was awed at her willingness to tackle Russian
> songs by Rachmaninoff.  Her "Pied Piper" was particularly enchanting and made
> me long for more than the two encores (by Bolcom and Ives) she performed.

She was thoughtful enough to let us ignorant audience know that Ives'
"Memories" was a two-part song.  I had heard Frederica von Stade sing
the same song in Salzburg on radio many years ago, and Flicka forgot to
notify the wealthy and supposedly sophisticated Salzburg audience of
this important fact, so that they appeared like abunch of ignorant
philistines who do not know when a song ends.
>
> The art of the song recital is indeed alive and well.  How lucky we are to
> live in such musically fulfilling times!

Like Mark, I remained rather detached.  I just had to suppress my
laughter at some of the typically USAmerican audience's reaction.  When
Upshaw was trying very hard to be an un-diva, these guys treated her as
if she were Callas, shouting bravas and giving standing ovations at an
"intimate Liederabend."
--
Nakamura Akira
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
"We're here, we're queer, and we love opera!" (c) Didi
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