Thursday, March 12, 2009


KEGS Arts Society recital


Twin pillars of English music, Purcell and Britten, framed this enjoyably varied recital featuring soprano Jane Leslie MacKenzie.

The Purcell included a dramatic Love's Sickness and a moving Dido's Lament, with the accompaniment successfully exported to the modern piano by Tim Carey.

A posy of Folk Songs from Britten concluded the evening: a lovely Waly, Waly and a cheeky Oliver Cromwell to end [If you want any more you can sing it yourself …]. Rarer delights included some of the few song settings of Mozart, and Poulenc's Whimsical Betrothal.

The centrepiece of the recital was Schumann's great Frauenliebe und Leben, describing the course of a woman's love for her man, from her own point of view, from their first meeting through marriage to his death. Jane's powerful, though often intimate, performance was well matched by the piano, especially in the final bars, where the silence of heartbreak and loss is accentuated by the recapitulation of the music's motifs.

Tim Carey gave us two solo reflections on the evening's themes: a stormy Petrarch Sonnet by Liszt, and two of Schumann's Fantasy Pieces, including a wonderful performance of Des Abends, with the cantabile melody made more songlike by the finely judged rubato.

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