Cher Public

Head space

The best part of Paul Appleby’s recital for the Philadelphia Chamber Society came in his last two groups—five songs by Charles Ives followed immediately by three Ned Rorem songs to texts by Paul Goodman. Deftly accompanied by Ken Noda, Appleby showed a virtually perfectly controlled head voice, well balanced with a wide dynamic range, including a sweetly spun pianissimo that never became falsetto.  Read more »

Cold Turkey

Mozart 1The no-star, slapstick revival of John Dexter’s 37-year-old production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail that opened Friday night proved James Levine’s tenure as Music Director of the Met will end in two weeks with neither a whimper nor a bang. Other than Albina Shagimuratova’s dramatically dour but vocally gleaming Konstanze, no compelling reason for these performances presented itself besides its maestro’s desire to conduct a favorite work.  Read more »

All about the voice

Paul ApplebyAs many vocalists know, song recitals present the singer at the most naked. No “concept” to dissolve into—no costumes, no greasepaint, no set, no orchestra. Only the pianist—exposed, translucent—a single partner guides the way. In no other genre of performance are we given as much access to a musician’s authentic self—who they are as a person, what kind of sensibilities they bring to text and music.  Read more »