Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Steinway at the farm

Voigt and Steinway

So I braved collapsing freeways and overpriced gas this past weekend, and went down to Palo Alto to hear Deborah Voigt in recital at Stanford University.

Singing an obscure late Mozart cantata, followed by songs by Verdi, Strauss, Respighi, Amy Beach and Bernstein, I regret to say that it wasn't a particularly impressive outing for Voigt, whose throaty gargle sounded alarmingly strident that day. Sure, it could have been a series of interpretive missteps, but even the Strauss selections often sounded shouty and pitchless, rather than soaring and radiant. Her rendition of Verdi's songs were largely salvaged by the clear and beautifully painterly piano playing of accompanist Brian Zeger.

I hold much respect and admiration (particularly judging from portions I heard of the MET's Aegyptische Helena broadcast of a few weeks back) for Voigt as a unique and remarkable artist, but can anyone still assert that her massive weight loss hasn't changed her vocally?

In any case, at a wine and cheese function after the performance for invited guests, I enjoyed meeting Steinway, Ms. Voigt's adorable and impeccably well-behaved Yorkshire Terrier, who obediently posed for me for this close-up:

Deb's pooch

© 2007 C. Chang


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