Correction to This Article
This version of the story has been corrected. A May 7 Style review incorrectly said that Ilana Davidson sang the part of Rosina in the National Philharmonic Opera's "The Barber of Seville" the previous Saturday. The part was sung by Elise Quagliata.
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CLASSICAL MUSIC

Jennifer Koh was the soloist on Friday with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto. The American Chamber Players, below, played Friday at the Library of Congress.
Jennifer Koh was the soloist on Friday with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto. The American Chamber Players, below, played Friday at the Library of Congress. (By Janette Beckman)

More compelling were Hanns Jelinek's "Three Chansons on Poems by Enrich Kaestner," with bitingly satirical texts and music replete with parodies of pompous military marches and drunken waltzes.

Ernst Krenek's "Travelbook From the Austrian Alps" is an earnest neo-romantic work, with momentary flashes of Schubert's economy and elegance. Krenek expresses hopefulness, nostalgia, anger and disillusionment about his homeland, all of which Foettinger rendered believably. Here the tenor's vocal capabilities were shown to good effect, and Vorzellner provided great nuance and variety in his playing.

Despite radiant pianism from Vorzellner in three songs by Joseph Marx, Foettinger's discomfort with their soaring vocalism was patently obvious. The late romantic sensuality of these songs did not bloom.

Arnold Schoenberg's "Brettl-Lieder" of 1901 revel in a naughty sense of humor cloaked in the conventional music of the cabaret. In these, both performers excelled; particularly impressive was Vorzellner's virtuosic and wickedly funny accompaniment.

But the evening's best were the lean, mean "Lieder aus Wien" by Egon Wellesz, sung to poetry in Viennese dialect that came off like low-down slang. Here Foettinger finally threw caution to the wind, and exploited a full range of sounds from moans to screams that were exactly right.

The "An das Lied" series continues this evening with soprano Elisabeth Linhart and Vorzellner in a program of 21st-century avant-garde Austrian works.

-- Sarah Hoover

Johannes Foettinger

The Austrian Cultural Forum continued its six-week-long "An das Lied" series Friday night with a recital by tenor Johannes Foettinger and pianist Markus Vorzellner at the Austrian Embassy. The program, "The Diversity of 20th Century Song," sampled Vienna's conflicting musical trends -- forward- and backward-looking -- in the first half of the 20th century.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold's "Songs of the Clown" did not introduce Foettinger in a flattering way: His stilted English diction and tight vocal production hampered the slight charms these songs have to offer.

More compelling were Hanns Jelinek's "Three Chansons on Poems by Enrich Kaestner," with bitingly satirical texts and music replete with parodies of pompous military marches and drunken waltzes.

Ernst Krenek's "Travelbook From the Austrian Alps" is an earnest neo-romantic work, with momentary flashes of Schubert's economy and elegance. Krenek expresses hopefulness, nostalgia, anger and disillusionment about his homeland, all of which Foettinger rendered believably. Here the tenor's vocal capabilities were shown to good effect, and Vorzellner provided great nuance and variety in his playing.

Despite radiant pianism from Vorzellner in three songs by Joseph Marx, Foettinger's discomfort with their soaring vocalism was patently obvious. The late romantic sensuality of these songs did not bloom.

Arnold Schoenberg's "Brettl-Lieder" of 1901 revel in a naughty sense of humor cloaked in the conventional music of the cabaret. In these, both performers excelled; particularly impressive was Vorzellner's virtuosic and wickedly funny accompaniment.

But the evening's best were the lean, mean "Lieder aus Wien" by Egon Wellesz, sung to poetry in Viennese dialect that came off like low-down slang. Here Foettinger finally threw caution to the wind, and exploited a full range of sounds from moans to screams that were exactly right.

The "An das Lied" series continues this evening with soprano Elisabeth Linhart and Vorzellner in a program of 21st-century avant-garde Austrian works.

-- Sarah Hoover


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