I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

David Daniels and Martin Katz

Last night, I saw countertenor David Daniels in a concert at the University of Richmond with pianist Martin Katz. Together, they performed a program of works including those by Brahms, Peri, Durante, Frescobaldi, Reynaldo Hahn, Handel, Vaughan Williams, Quilter, among others in a program that spanned a wide gamut of time, languages, and styles. Imagine my surprise when I assumed he'd be appearing with the Italian baroque ensemble that is due to perform tomorrow night. But the fact that the entire program was not baroque was no matter. Both Daniels and Katz are remarkable musicians, and every piece of music was a gem that they obviously savored. A great program then, memorable too, for the remarkable affect offered by several pieces. There were a few things I noticed that I thought I'd comment upon. First, Daniels audibly was clearing his throat several times and I found this distasteful. It's like someone who doesn't want to blow their nose, and is sucking-up phlegm. I mean, if you've got it, and you've got to sing, I understand. But it was kind of odd. Second, Daniels appeared several times as if he was going to fall over. As a concertizer, he really does get into each song. He was almost as interesting to watch as he was to listen to. The fact that the entire program was sung from memory on his part was on the verge of amazing. Third, at times Katz seemed to overpower Daniels. Balance between two musicians is a challenge, sure, but with a countertenor, someone who has a restricted dynamic range, Mr. Katz needed to back off a few notches in a few places. Fourth, Katz was less effective with a favorite piece by Frescobaldi, where his style at the keyboard used pedal and sounded quasi-romantic. The performance was great, but I'd like things "all baroque" or all "avante-garde," but not some mushy area in the center. Fifth, is it me, or is Daniels' continuous use of vibrato throughout his singing, even bridging styles, authentic, when it comes to a baroque singing style? His voice is in fact very good, and like critics, I'd dare to say he's a front runner in the countertenor stars. But at times, my mind wandered, thinking if a more "straight" sound would be appropriate for the baroque works. It's not a criticism, as I haven't been reading on the latest historical performance research... but more an aesthetic question. In all, a nice recital; and we were treated to three encores.

Mac Book Air

Beethoven String Trios, Thomas Tallis