Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Elly Ameling is one of a very small band of singers who today still give song recitals. Tuesday night at the University of Maryland, the lovely Dutch soprano sang Lieder by Schubert and Schumann, Brahms and Wolf.
Ameling has everything necessary for beautiful, persuasive performances of the familiar songs with which she filled the evening. Her voice is a lyric of modest size, perfectly produced, with which she projects every syllable of her songs with ideal clarity. If some in the hall did not hear every word clearly that is the fault of the hall, not the singer.
With Dalton Baldwin playing the piano in the most musicianly manner imaginable, Ameling proceeded from three Schubert songs to the Schumann cycle, "Frauenliebe and Leben." She knows the secrets of style and the ways to shape phrases so that her songs emerge in the composer's total concept.
Yet with all her gifts, Ameling often leaves the listener without the final note of ecstasy or the ultimate pang of sorrow. It is as if she cannot or will not let herself touch the deepest tones of meaning. Others have far more "weine bitterlich" in Brahms' "Immer leiser wird mein Schulummer," and have transfixed their audiences by the end of the Schumann cycle, matters that Ameling failed to probe fully.
She has a lovely archness for something like Brahms "Vergebliches Staenchen' and a perfect touch in Hugo Wolf's little Italian song about a tiny sweetheart. In eight of these Italian songs, Baldwin, having played superbly all evening, created real magic.