Friday, 17 January 2014

Lucas (2)

"The solo singing was wonderful. As Jephtha, James Gilchrist offered... virtuoso bravado..." So today's paper describes (with 5 stars) Tuesday night at the Barbican . And yesterday's Cheltenham lieder recital by that same tenor might, I feel, be described in similar terms.

It could be three years since I attended a Music Society event at the Pittville Pump Room, I'm rather ashamed to say. (Their programmes deserve more loyal support.) And I wasn't really looking forward to last night's mixed bag with any great relish, having been critical of a programme Gilchrist gave at our July 2012 Festival.

As it turned out, I was taken aback not just by the beauty of his voice, but the confidence and variety of tone he brought to his performance - settings of Shakespeare, Byron and Heine by Wolf, Mendelssohn(s), Loewe, Liszt, Grieg and Schubert in part one, and a glorious Dichterliebe after the interval.

The link to my illustration? Tenuous: Gilchrist started adult life as a doctor, and the portrait is supposed to represent another such, St Luke. It's one of the images in a garish-looking East window dating from 1850 in the Norman church I visited on Wednesday, All Saints, Salperton. The glass, "possibly" - Pevsner - by David Evans, is much eclipsed by two splendid late Kempe windows in the South wall.

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