Kristine Ciesinski has in her singing more than a little of those gifts that made Lotte Lehmann one of the memorable singers of this century.
Tall and blonde, with an undisguised love for music and words, Ciesinski sang yesterday afternoon at the Phillips Collection, projecting Latin, Polish, German, French and English with easy fluency.
The recent winner of three big European competitions, this young artist conveys an instant feeling of unusual musicianship in style, technique and expressive authority. She welcomes and overcomes challenges for reasons that stem from the music and text.In Monteverdi, Chopin, Schumann, Britten and a group of exquisite Christmas songs, the singer held her audience captive, fully revealing the meaning of all that she sang.
This does not mean that Ciesinski is at this moment ready for the world's concert stages or the Metropolitan Opera. There is at times a momentary tremor in the voice, some things do not always come out as she wishes them to. And she must still unlock more of the inner ecstasy that clearly burns just beneath her present interpretations.
But the important things in that she has the gift, the real understanding, and, from her teacher, Todd Duncan, the means to realize it. What a wonderful point she has now reached. She was superbly accompanied by pianist Donald Collup.