Thursday evening Barbara Bonney gave a Schubert Club recital at the
Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. The theater was mostly full, but
the Schubert Club in St. Paul has a solid core of loyalists who return
year after year.
With Warren Jones at the piano she sang:
Kennst du das Land
Was bedeutet die Bewegung
Gretchen am Spinnrade
Frauenlieben und Leben Opus 42
Seit ich ihn gesehen
Er, der Herrlichste von allen
Ich kann's nicht fassen, nicht glauben
Du Ring an meinem Finger
Helft mir, ihr Schwestern
Suesser Freund, du blickest
An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust
Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan
Grieg: Sechs Lieder, Opus 48
Dereinst, Gedanke mein
Lauf der Welt
Die verschiwegene Nachtigall
Hugo Wolf: Mignon Lieder
Heiss mich nicht reden
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
So lasst mich scheinen
Kennst du das Land
a Grieg song in Norwegian
Hymn by Dominick Argento, Minnesota's own. He was present.
I've never heard Bonney in person. Her voice is bigger than I thought it
would be. Her interpretation is very very good. Based on her studies,
much in Austria, I'd say she understands her German texts very well. She
also over pronounces the "e" on the end of some words "eine" making it
very "a", sounding much like an Austrian. But it was real.
I thought she was best in very quite, intense passages. She is audible,
even in the gallery where I sat, and the tone is very pleasant. She also
has exciting chest tones which she used. Only when she went for volume
was I uncomfortable. Her voice did not spread, nor did it seem shrill,
but the sound at higher volumes was not pleasant to hear. I don't know
how to describe it other than that.
She was a serious artist. She did not chat or joke with the audience.
Her encores were also serious. The audience response was warm but not
wildly enthusiastic. She never got those waves of applause a popular
singer gets. I think her serious, reserved presence did not encourage
it. She is also not uppity, when I say serious.
I'd like to hear what Bonney lovers and knowers have to say about her.
By the way, she has a web page. This is printed in the booklet:
http:www.podium.uk.com/bonney which "features biographical and
recording information as well as details of her current and forthcoming
Best wishes. Jim J.
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