Soprano Felicity Lott (photo by Trevor Leighton)
A set of Rückert and Goethe songs by Schumann and Wolf ended the first half. Schumann's Widmung and Liebeslied provided a chance for a more agitated musical approach. Lott's German pronunciation was clean, and her characterization for each song was carefully crafted, from detached coolness to coy, girlish skittishness. The voice sounded strained at the top at times, but Lott was still able to spin out a gorgeous high pianissimo. The set ended with a pairing of two of Wolf's settings of Goethe's lyrics for Mignon, the wandering naïf in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, sung with childish intensity and some of the most booming sounds from the embassy's Bösendorfer.
Anne Midgette, Felicity Lott, Basking in a Wistful Glow (Washington Post, May 10)
Joshua Kosman, French songs elicit Lott's best (San Francisco Chronicle, May 3)
Thomas Aujero Small, A Halcyon Recital (ConcertoNet, May 2)
This concert will be repeated tomorrow (May 10, 7:30 pm) at Carnegie Hall.
Noel Coward and Yvonne Printemps, I'll Follow My Secret Heart
Vocal Arts Society's 2008-2009 season promises to be another blockbuster. Major names are on the roster, including another recital by Felicity Lott (April 17, 2009), Anne-Sophie von Otter in her stunning Theresienstadt program (April 30, 2009 -- not part of the subscription series), Magdalena Kožená (May 6, 2009), and Teddy Tahu Rhodes (May 12, 2009). The other secret to VAS's success is that it showcases the most promising young singers, too, including mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey with Steven Blier's New York Festival of Song (November 14, 2008), Sarah Coburn and Lawrence Brownlee (January 31, 2009), soprano Susanna Phillips (March 26, 2009). If you enjoy exquisite song recitals, get your subscription soon.