February 15th, 2009


Reynaldo Hahn - À Chloris

On Friday night we went to a Celebrity Series Concert with Anne Sofie von Otter. She's a mezzo-soprano who sings lots of opera. This recital had Sibelius, Hahn, Schumann in the first half plus a couple of piano pieces by Ravel and Dukas on the name Haydn using a generous interpretation of the letters to determine the notes; and Mehldau and some American Popular Songs in the second half. Brad Mehldau played the piano for the second half; Bengt Forsberg for the first half. One of the American popular tunes was Walkin' My Baby Back Home sung in Swedish - Otter is Swedish). The concert was in Sanders Theatre to which I haven't been in a while - it is such a lovely hall - we had great seats. I think von Otter sung a bit too softly in the higher registers for this hall - presumably her choice since I'm sure she belts it out in Der Rosencavalier and other operas; but she had delightful presence and a very fine voice.

To me the highlight was a piece by Reynaldo Hahn: À Chloris

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I found nothing in the iTunes store, but when I looked on YouTube I found a bunch of recordings and listened to about 10 - one was with a counter tenor, another a baritone, and one was with a violin instead of a soprano. It's fun doing these comparisons. (When I was looking for a recording of Schubert's Sonata for Piano in A Major on the iTunes store I listened to the first 30 seconds of 27 of them before choosing the one by Victor Rosenbaum.)

This is the one with Kristina Bitenc singing is the one I liked the best - although I liked von Otter's version even better.