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.