Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Muted Egos Let Singers Concentrate on Music; CLASSICAL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Muted Egos Let Singers Concentrate on Music; CLASSICAL

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN HUNT

Barbara Bonney/Michael Schade Wigmore Hall

"I KNEW it was a mistake to invite you," flounced American soprano Barbara Bonney at Michael Schade, after the Canadian tenor had taken a deserved ovation for Rossini's florid La Danza. The joke against herself was a reminder that even sharing the limelight with an accompanist is a concession for many singers; devising a recital series focused on vocal duets, as Bonney has done, shows that music can still come before ego.

There is a large and little-known duet repertoire to choose from. The catch is that not all the celebrated composers who wrote duets took the genre very seriously. The examples selected from Schumann's catalogue sounded like casually dashed-off novelties.

The interspersed solo songs by the same composer showed far greater artistic ambition.

Er, Der Herrlichste Von Allen, plucked from its usual context in the cycle Frauenliebe und Leben, found Bonney at her uncomplicated best. …

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