|Flute||Tara Helen O’Connor|
CMS’s season welcome offers a sampling of the rich cultural journey that enthralled the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn. The humor of Haydn which delighted Londoners, the unforgettable lyricism of the “Prince of Song” Schubert, and the mystical piety of the Italian Renaissance composer Palestrina, all culminate in the exotic colors of France, fashioned into hypnotic music by master composer Maurice Ravel.
Haydn Symphony in G major for Piano, Flute, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Hob. I:94, “Surprise” (1791)
Mendelssohn Selected Songs for Soprano and Piano, Opp. 34 and 57 (1835-41)
Schubert “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen” for Soprano, Clarinet, and Piano, D. 965, Op. 129 (1828)
Palestrina Adoramus Te Christe for Five Voices (1584)
Ravel Trio in A minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1914)
Berlin was represented by select Mendelssohn songs, which the soprano Lisette Oropesa, accompanied by the pianist Gilbert Kalish, rendered with pellucid tone and unfussy styling— Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim • New York Times
Three familiar songs by Mendelssohn himself followed. In “Wanderlied,” “Auf Flügeln des Gesänges,” and “Suleika,” soprano Lisette Oropesa’s clear, agile, well-placed voice easily projected this composer’s distinctive brand of submerged passion, and pianist Gilbert Kalish subtly rendered his busy accompaniments.
Oropesa’s pinpoint intonation rang like a silver bell through Mendelssohn’s euphonious harmonies. A delighted audience rewarded the pair with vigorous applause.— David Wright • New York Classical Review
All of the things I love about her singing were in abounding evidence tonight: the distinctive colour, the mastery of dynamics, the magical turns of phrase, the imaginative way with words. In three Mendelssohn songs - "Wanderlied", "On the Wings of Song" and "Suleika" - Lisette cast a spell over the hall, and Mr. Kalish was a most valuable fellow sorcerer.— Oberon • Oberon's Grove