A Soaring Performance…
This was a return visit by Natasha Page and it was wonderful to catch her on the cusp of a prominent career. Her current accompanist, Shiori Hosada, was well up to the mark in providing robust and sensitive playing to reflect the huge diversity of mood of the songs presented today.
The whole of the first half was given over to the Liederkreis by Schumann. Natasha gave a summary of the meaning of the songs before performing them – then one song flowed easily into the next.
Natasha’s diction was immaculate, German being not the prettiest language to sing in. It was clear that her vocal range has widened and matured: songs that plunged to the lower register were delivered confidently, while she packed a mighty punch into songs such as Fruhlingsnacht, the final song, soaring effortlessly. Perhaps the best known song, Mondnacht, was the most beguiling of the cycle, but it was hard to choose…
After the interval we were treated to songs by Richard Strauss. These were highly characterful and very chromatic, handled with dramatic style.
Debussy by contrast was dreamy and full of harmonies, which must have seemed strange to contemporaries: Natasha and Shiori were unfazed.
The menu got lighter as time flowed by with delightful songs by Chausson and top notch delivery of a famous aria by Verdi.
Given the horrible weather outside, this was just the tonic we needed.