Classical Love songs delivered with finesse

Love songs delivered with finesse

Presented by the American-based Lonestar Classical Voices Quartet, this lengthy programme produced many musical delights, yet after the long interval it meandered, only recovering its energetic propulsion during the penultimate item with soprano Bronwen Forbay’s glittering performance of Mein Herr Marquis. Executed with technical and musical aplomb, Forbay’s soaring coloratura captivated the full house.

From her first notes in An jeder Hand die Finger, Forbay impressed with carefully crafted phrases, pure untrammelled delivery and magnificent projection of cantabile lines. Here is a front-ranking performer who marries artistic perception with technical finesse; a truly professional performer.

Soprano Bronwen Forbay  of Lonestar Classical Voices Quartet  by Val Adamson

Soprano Bronwen Forbay of Lonestar Classical Voices Quartet. Photo: Val Adamson

Another consummate artist, mezzo-soprano Jamie van Eyck, impressed with her technical precision, authoritative interpretations and meaningful sense for imaginative characterization.

Performed with insight and integrity, Ich lade gern mir Gäste ein set the tone for a concert that revelled in examples of supreme musicianship. Van Eyck’s partnering with baritone Christian Bester for Lippen schweigen produced seductively alluring nuances, and complete identification with the operetta idiom.

Expressively colouring the text with evocatively hued tonal tinctures, Bester’s solo item O Vaterland, du machst bei Tag showcased his obvious delight for larger-than-life portrayal and an opportunity to display his capacity for sensitive vocal inflections.

Accompanist Kaju Lee was strangely muted, only partially displaying sense for cantabile tone projection. Lee needs to engage in an expressive dialogue with the singers where her accompaniments add to the artistic tapestry. In Lippen schweigen, pianistic appropriation of sumptuous string tone and orchestral colour would have padded the singers’ emotionally charged interpretation, while Brüderlein was rendered rudderless without a hint of surging string tone.

Unfortunately, this concert ran over time, and the inclusion of two extended multi-movement cycles by Brahms possibly points to a need for greater pragmatism in this programme’s design.

Jeffery Brukman

Beethoven Room                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Sunday 5 July, 7pm 

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