Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Vocal Recital at Sacramento State

California State University, Sacramento is just across the river from my house.  Their music department has recently been retitled a School of Music.  Last night a group of guest singers presented what was for me an unusual concert.

Kimberly James, mezzo
Tod Fitzpatrick, baritone
Rebecca Sherburn, soprano
Louise Thomas, piano

What made this concert unusual was the presence of a title:

Love, the Fair Day
American Parlor Songs

Would I know a parlor song if I heard one?  Apparently not.  The three singers grouped themselves in various combinations with only two groups of solo songs.  There were two different female composers:  Amy Beach and Mabel W. Daniels.  I had at least heard of Amy Beach, but her songs were unfamiliar.  As were the songs of the male composers:  Edward MacDowell (not entirely unfamiliar), George W. Chadwick, Arthur Foote and Henry Hadley.  The composers in bold were members of a group called the Boston Six, which also included Horatio Parker, a man whose works I have actually performed.  So close and yet so far away.

The songs were oddly international.  "A Canadian Boat Song."  "Bedouin Love Song."  "A song from the Persian."  I enjoyed "The Skylark" because it reminded that once in Europe I witnessed the mating song of the male skylark.  They fly into the air and sing a long song while hovering in one spot.  I digress.

The songs were all lovely and performed in a very genteel manner.  I have never been to Boston which may be why a concert of parlor songs seemed like a visit to an unfamiliar place.  We are so well behaved.  One might wish to go home and play some loud rock and roll.


Bruce said...

three takes on Skylark ; ;

(wish I knew who the alto player on the Darrin version is....)

Dr.B said...

I'm not sure this is the same song.