Rodney Clarke, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Rodney Clarke revealed his qualities in the first item of this lunchtime song recital, Let Us Garlands Bring, settings by Gerald Finzi.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Rodney Clarke revealed his qualities in the first item of this lunchtime song recital, Let Us Garlands Bring, settings by Gerald Finzi. Though in possession of a baritone voice ample in range and volume, he did not have particularly impressive depth or variety of tone. Pianist Alessandro Talevi compensated in accompaniments that did a lot to bring out changes of mood.

Robert Schumann's Opus 24 song cycle with poems by Heinrich Heine embraced wholeheartedly romantic themes of disappointed love and a longing for the grave. A contrast was set up by Ravel's Don Quixote to Dulcinea, with all the swagger of French visions of Spain.

The recital concluded in a more popular style with two cheerful songs by George Gershwin. There was a burst of premature applause. It may have been an indication that words in English helped the music and the musicianship of its persuasive interpreters.


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Christopher Smith

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